A St. Louis Park man with five previous DWI-related convictions on his record has been charged with first-degree DWI in Plymouth.
Darren Gile Hoffman, 48, is charged with first-degree driving while impaired and refusing to submit to a chemical test, a felony with a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in prison.
Plymouth police were called to the area of 10th Avenue North and Nathan Lane just after 9:30 p.m. Nov. 27 after residents reported a car racing up and down the street, according to the criminal complaint, signed by Plymouth Police Investigator Molly Lynch.
An officer found a vehicle in the area that matched the description. The car had a very loud muffler, and the officer decided to stop the driver.
The driver pulled into an industrial area and appeared to be stopping, but as the officer got out of his squad car, the suspect accelerated and drove erratically around the parking lot, speeding up, slowing down and then speeding up again, according to the complaint.
The driver, later identified as Hoffman, finally stopped and got out of his car. The officer noted that Hoffman “reeked of alcohol” and that his gait was unsteady and his eyes were red and watery.
Hoffman admitted that he had been drinking, and the officer found an open bottle of vodka in his car, according to the complaint. Hoffman was arrested and, after “much pleading and swearing,” he refused to submit to an alcohol test, the complaint charges.
Hoffman’s criminal history includes convictions for refusing to submit to an alcohol test in 2002 and 2006. His driving privileges were revoked in 2005 after he refused to take an alcohol test; they were revoked again for the same reason in 2009. He was convicted in August of DWI; his driver’s license is currently revoked.
Hoffman remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $100,000 bond and a Department of Corrections hold for making terroristic threats. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Jan. 7 in Hennepin County District Court.