A New Richland, MN, man has been charged with driving drunk after authorities say he smashed into a retaining wall on Highway 100 in St. Louis Park and briefly blocked traffic.
David Lewis Wright Jr., 47, is charged with two counts of second-degree DWI, each a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Several motorists called 911 just before 3 a.m. Dec. 16 to report a vehicle had crashed into a retaining wall on Highway 100 near 36th Street, according to the criminal complaint.
A Minnesota State Patrol trooper arrived and found the car, which was blocking the right lane and smoking badly, with Wright still in the driver’s seat.
The trooper asked Wright to get out of the car, and he had trouble keeping his balance as he did so, according to the complaint. Wright, who had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech, “stumbled” to the front of the squad car, where he admitted that he had consumed “six or eight drinks” before he drove, the complaint says.
Wright performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and at one point told the trooper that he was drunk and didn’t want to “play games,” according to the complaint.
A preliminary breath test showed Wright’s blood-alcohol content at .188 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent. A subsequent breath test showed a blood-alcohol content of .20 percent, according to the complaint.
Wright’s criminal history includes a 2007 DUI conviction.
Wright has been released from custody on a $12,000 bond. He is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charges Jan. 4 in Hennepin County District Court.