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Robbinsdale City Council Member Tyler Kline Charged With DWI, Fleeing Police

This was originally published on Jan. 25.

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) -- A city council member of a northern Twin Cities suburb is facing charges for allegedly driving under the influence early Monday morning and fleeing from police officers who were only able to stop him by crashing into his minivan.

Tyler Kline, a Robbinsdale city council member, is charged with fleeing a peace officer, driving under the influence, and an additional DWI count of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Kline, 38, is set to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint, officers were alerted shortly after midnight Monday to a crash Kline allegedly caused while driving a minivan the wrong way on Highway 100 near the intersection of Brooklyn Boulevard, in Brooklyn Center.

Tyler Kline (credit: Henn. Co. Jail)

Kline fled the scene of the accident. Not long after, a Crystal police officer noticed his minivan going the wrong way on an exit ramp, trying to get back onto Highway 100. The officer used his squad to block the minivan from getting on the highway, but Kline drove around him and continued down the ramp.

Still going the wrong way, Kline drove along Highway 100 until another Crystal police officer tried to stop him at intersection of County Road 81. Again, Kline evaded the officer.

Police were only able to stop the wrong-way minivan by crashing into it, the complaint states. After officers told Kline to get out of the vehicle, police eventually pulled him from the driver's seat. The officers noted that Kline smelled of alcohol and showed signs of impairment.

At the New Hope Police Department, Kline blew a 0.20 in a breath test, showing that his blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, which is 0.08.

He posted bond Tuesday and was released from the Hennepin County Jail. He released this statement Wednesday evening on Facebook:

On January 24 I made several horrible decisions that led to my arrest on DUI and Fleeing charges. I feel immense shame and regret for my actions. I put many people in danger and I am so incredibly sorry. I am lucky that I didn't seriously hurt anyone and I am truly lucky to be alive. This event has led me to admitting that I have a serious addiction that I can't address on my own. I am in the process of enrolling in a 6-week High-Intensity program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. I want and need to be better for my family, friends, and community. I want to be open about this situation because I take my responsibility as a parent, friend, and public servant seriously.

Kline is the latest elected official in Minnesota to be cited or charged for driving under the influence.

Last month, Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson rolled a county-owned vehicle in a drunk driving crash were he was driving at 120 mph in central Minnesota. Numerous lawmakers, including Gov. Tim Walz, have called for Hutchinson to resign. He has refused those calls, saying he'll leave his fate up to the voters in November.

Earlier this month, State Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL-Maplewood) was cited for driving under the influence. In a statement, Xiong said he was pulled over for drinking and driving following a community gathering on Jan. 8. He called his actions "inexcusable" and apologized.

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