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Stuck in a ditch, confused about his name, driver gets a DWI

A Dakota County Sheriff's Deputy got a few clues Michael Swinarski might not have been fit to drive when she came upon him last December. His car was in the west ditch along Highway 52. His eyes were glassy and he smelled of alcohol. And according to a complaint filed last week in the Dakota County Attorney's office he misspelled his middle name.

The deputy came across Swinarski, a 25-year-old Red Wing resident, shortly before 2 a.m. Dec. 13. According to the complaint his car was about 12 feet off of Highway 52 near 180th Street.

Swinarski failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test registered over the legal limit for driving. A later breath test showed a blood alcohol content of .16, twice the legal limit.

During a search the deputy found marijuana and a glass pipe in Swinarski's pants pocket.

Swinarski was convicted of DWI in October of 2008. He's been charged this time with two gross misdemeanor third degree counts of driving while impaired, each of which carries a maximum sentence of one year and fines of up to $3,000. Misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia each carry a maximum sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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