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Hennepin Co. Sheriff Dave Hutchinson Investigated For Possible DWI After Alexandria Rollover Crash

Originally published Dec. 8, 2021

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) --  Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is being investigated for potentially driving while intoxicated after a single-vehicle rollover crash Wednesday morning in central Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 94, five miles east of Alexandria.

In the crash, 41-year-old Hutchinson suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital by ambulance. When the deputy responded to the crash, they observed the overturned vehicle in the ditch and made contact with Hutchinson.

Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson released a statement Thursday, saying the "circumstances of the crash" resulted in a deputy suspecting impaired driving.

Hutchinson, who lives in Bloomington, was the only occupant of the vehicle, which is a 2021 Ford Explorer owned by Hennepin County, the state patrol said. He was wearing a seatbelt and the airbag deployed.

After obtaining a warrant, a urine sample from Hutchinson was collected to determine impairment. Larson anticipates a criminal charging decision to be made by early next week.

Officials with the Minnesota Sheriff's Association confirmed that Hutchinson was in the area attending its conference in Alexandria Tuesday evening.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson
Sheriff Dave Hutchinson (credit: CBS)

Hutchinson released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying he made an "inexcusable decision to drive after drinking alcohol" and apologized. Here's his full statement:

Early this morning, I was involved in single car crash in Douglas County near Alexandria, MN. I was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Patrol are investigating this crash as a DUI.

I made the inexcusable decision to drive after drinking alcohol and I am deeply sorry. As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Hennepin County, I am held to a higher standard. 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.

I take full responsibility for my actions and am prepared to accept the consequences of my poor decision. I am relieved that no one else was injured in the crash. I will immediately address my personal issues surrounding alcohol and seek the help I need to continue to serve the people of Hennepin County.

In a recent interview with WCCO Radio, Hutchinson -- who was elected in 2018 -- opened up about the civil unrest of 2020 and the toll it took on his health.

"After George Floyd was killed, when we had our command post set up, I was there 18 hours a day. I slept in the my car, and so of course when I get up I slam a bunch of coffee or Red Bull and eat crappy food, and then you're, it's just a cycle," Hutchinson said. "The stress was so hard, I wasn't taking care of myself."

Hutchinson hasn't given any indication that he plans to resign.

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