The Minnesota State Patrol believes that a 22-year-old St. Paul man was driving while impaired when he was involved in an injury car accident early Sunday morning. Authorities say that the two vehicle crash occurred in the area of Interstate 694 and Highway 252 just after 3:00 Sunday morning. Troopers responded to the accident and later arrested the St. Paul man on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation.
Channel 4 news reports that a preliminary breath test was taken during the investigation. PBT breath tests are inherently unreliable, but troopers claim the PBT test registered a 0.13 percent alcohol level.
While a person suspected of an offense has the right to remain silent and does not have to offer any facts about an alleged offense, or answer questions about an alleged offense from law enforcement, troopers claim the St. Paul man said that he could feel the effects of the alcohol while he was driving.
WCCO-TV reports that the accused told troopers that he had accelerated on the interstate ramp before the accident. Authorities claim that during that acceleration, the car spun out and collided with a second vehicle.
Tragically, authorities say that a person who had been celebration a high school prom was injured in the early morning crash. The accident victim reportedly suffered a concussion, spinal fracture and sprained ankle in the wreck. Troopers say that both vehicles were significantly damaged in the wreck.
Authorities are pursuing a drunk driving-related felony CVO charge against the St. Paul man.
Generally, the level of offense and potential penalties for criminal vehicular operation in Minnesota can vary based upon the degree of injury that authorities claim have occurred. The charges begin at the gross misdemeanor level, which can expose a person accused of CVO in Minnesota to up to one year in jail.
Various provisions of the CVO statute address felony level charges based upon a graduated scale of injuries to another, or in cases where an unborn child is killed or harmed in a car accident involving alcohol, substances, gross negligence, or other specified factors.
WCCO-TV Channel 4 News, “Drunk Driver Charged In Brooklyn Center Weekend Crash,” April 24, 2012
Minnesota Statutes section 609.21 (2011)