A St. Louis Park mother is accused of felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and gross misdemeanor driving while impaired after an alleged routine traffic stop earlier this month. The woman is facing second-degree DWI charges apparently based upon allegations that she has a previous conviction on her record from 2009, combined with allegations that the woman’s 9-year-old daughter was in the vehicle during the recent incident.
Minnetonka police pulled over a St. Louis Park woman Jan. 2 to investigate an alleged expired tab violation. The police officer claims the 38-year-old woman was not able to show the officer her driver’s license during the traffic stop. Law enforcement says the officer told the woman to remain in the car as the officer returned to his squad. When the officer retreated to the police cruiser, law enforcement claims the woman sped off from the traffic stop.
Law enforcement reportedly pursued the woman for roughly one-and-a-half miles before she pulled over again. The woman was transferred to the squad car. The officer says that the woman smelled of alcohol when she was confined in the back-seat of the police car. Police claim the woman did poorly on field sobriety tests and later blew an alcohol level of 0.144 percent on a breath test.
A gross misdemeanor DWI charge in Minnesota carries significant penalties in both the criminal case and the implied consent license revocation proceedings. Gross misdemeanors in Minnesota carry a maximum jail sentence of up to a year in county jail. However, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle can result in a felony level offense. The felony fleeing charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of up to $8,000.
When facing DWI and related charges in Minnesota, a defendant does not have to face the complex legal system alone. Anyone charged with a crime should consider seeking the advice of an experienced Twin Cities criminal defense attorney to learn what options may be available in an individual situation.
Source: Fox 9 News, “Drunk St. Louis Park Mom Flees Cops, Daughter in Car,” Leif Knutson, Jan. 9, 2012