Hennepin County sheriff pleads guilty in drunk driving case that happened near Alexandria
The plea agreement calls for a standard misdemeanor sentence, which would apply to anyone who is convicted of a first time DWI in Douglas County, according to Attorney Chad Larson.
Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson has entered a guilty plea to fourth-degree DWI in connection with a rollover that happened at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8 on Interstate 94 near Alexandria.
The guilty plea was entered by means of a plea petition which is customary for a misdemeanor level offense, according to Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson.
The plea agreement calls for a standard misdemeanor sentence, which would apply to anyone who is convicted of a first time DWI in Douglas County, Larson said. He added the agreement calls for: 90 days of stayed jail; up to two years probation; a $500 fine; a chemical-use assessment; a requirement to follow the recommendations that arise from that assessment; a requirement to abstain from alcohol and non-prescribed controlled substances; and an obligation to submit to random testing to ensure abstinence.
The remaining DWI charges, Larson said, will be dismissed as Hutchinson can only be convicted of one DWI offense related to this case under Minnesota law, Larson said.
The state has agreed to a continuance for dismissal on the charges of carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol.
"This case came to my office like any other case does," Larson said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Dec. 16. "It was processed like any other case is. The disposition is standard. I am pleased with the sheriff’s decision to take responsibility for this offense in a swift manner."
Under Minnesota law, the investigative data will remain non-public until such time as Hutchinson's right to an appeal is exhausted.
"I would like to thank the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol for their assistance," Larson said.
The crash happened about 5 miles east of Alexandria. Local sheriff's deputies responding to the scene suspected Hutchinson was under the influence.
A urine sample analyzed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found Hutchinson had a blood alcohol content of .13%, the public safety department said in a news release announcing Larson's decision to pursue charges. It is illegal to drive with a BAC .08% or higher.
Hutchinson, who was brought to a hospital for non-critical injuries he suffered in the crash, was attending the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association winter conference in Alexandria on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
In a statement released on Dec. 16, Hutchinson called the incident a "wake-up call" and said he has enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address "my issues with alcohol and my overall health."
Hutchinson also said he has returned to work and will "focus on my duties as sheriff."