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Hennepin County sheriff suspected of DWI in I-94 crash near Alexandria

The crash happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday about 5 miles east of Alexandria, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — The sheriff of Minnesota's largest county is under investigation for driving under the influence of alcohol after he rolled his car on an interstate highway in west-central Minnesota.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson crashed about 5 miles east of Alexandria around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, according to the Minnesota State Patrol, which is investigating the crash. When Douglas County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene, they suspected Hutchinson was impaired.

Hutchinson admitted in a statement that he had been drinking before he drove. Before the crash, he was attending the winter conference of the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association in Alexandria.

He was wearing a seatbelt and was the only person in the vehicle, which was owned by Hennepin County, according to the patrol.

An ambulance brought Hutchinson to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, and a state patrol trooper took a urine sample to be used to determine Hutchinson's level of intoxication, the patrol said.

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Hutchinson in his statement called his decision to drive after drinking alcohol "inexcusable." He said he took full responsibility for his actions and was prepared to accept any consequences.

"As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Hennepin County, I am held to a higher standard," the statement said. "I regret the choice I made and apologize to the citizens I serve, the staff I work with, and the friends and family who support me."

Hutchinson said he plans to immediately address his personal issues with alcohol and continue serving as sheriff, a position he was elected to in 2018. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Charges against Hutchinson are pending based on the results of the test and a review by Douglas County prosecutors, the patrol said.

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