The Minnesota State Patrol says that troopers responded to a rollover car accident at the Interstate 494 and I-35W interchange Saturday night. It is not clear from media reports what occurred to cause the rollover, nor are there any details about the potential accident victims. While troopers were on the scene of the crash, authorities claim that a 39-year-old Richfield man sideswiped one squad car before crashing into the rear-end of a second squad.
A trooper in the second squad suffered injuries, according to the state patrol. That trooper was later treated and released from an area hospital. However, authorities say that the man who is accused of failing to properly navigate around an accident scene was impaired when he drove through the accident scene. Authorities say that a 20-year-old passenger and two children were riding as passengers in the Richfield man’s car. Nobody was seriously injured.
Troopers claim that the Richfield man appeared unsteady on his feet after the accident, and allegedly showed signs of impairment. Officials have not released many other details about Saturday’s alleged incident in Bloomington, other than the law enforcement believes the driver was over the legal limit to drive.
The Richfield man was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal vehicular operation.
Generally, criminal vehicular operation charges are not technically placed within the driving while impaired statute. But a CVH or CVO conviction involving alcohol or other substances can be used to enhance future DWI charges to the felony level.
A person does not necessarily have to be impaired to face a criminal vehicular homicide or injury charge. The CVH and CVO law allows prosecutors to seek the charges based upon allegations that a driver caused an accident involving injury or death based upon either gross negligence in driving, or negligence in driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other specified substances.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Man who hit state trooper’s squad remains in jail,” David Chanen, Jan. 27, 2013
- Our firm represents individuals charged with DWI in Minnesota, including alcohol or substance related CVH and CVO charges. For more information, please visit the Minneapolis felony DWI defense page.