Police: Man under influence in injury crash into White Bear townhome

Police say that a driver had difficulty following a curve in the road in White Bear Lake last week. The man reportedly lost control of his vehicle and the car ultimately crashed into the sunroom of a townhome near the intersection of Otter Lake Road and County Road 96. Unfortunately, the sunroom was occupied at the time of the car accident. A man in the sunroom sustained injuries in the crash. Police say that the injuries were not life-threatening, but few details are known.

Meanwhile, White Bear Police investigated the car accident. Authorities claim that a preliminary breath test of the driver suggested that the man may have been drinking alcohol before the accident. Authorities say that a blood sample was later drawn, and toxicology tests remain pending on the blood test.

The driver, a 50-year-old St. Paul, Minnesota man, was arrested last Tuesday, the same day of the car accident, on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation. Generally, the statute that criminalizes vehicular homicide or injury does not necessarily require authorities to find evidence of alcohol. The Minnesota CVH and CVO statute allows prosecutors to seek CVH or CVO charges based upon allegations that a driver caused death or injury to another in a car accident while operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

Authorities are also authorized to bring CVH or CVO charges after a fatal or injury accident upon evidence that a driver caused the death or injury to another in a crash while driving under the influence of alcohol, or while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. There are also other types of allegations that can support a CVH or CVO charge under Minnesota law.

Sources:

St. Paul Pioneer Press, “White Bear Lake: In possible DWI, car hits house and injures man inside,” Tad Vezner, Nov. 13, 2012

Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Section 609.21, Vehicular Homicide and Injury, 2012

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