Hennepin sheriff says he was drinking before I-94 rollover crash

A man sits in a car.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson in his squad car near the scene of a fatal shooting by police in Robbinsdale, Minn., on Jan. 8, 2020.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

Updated: 6 p.m.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said Wednesday he crashed his vehicle near Alexandria, Minn., after drinking alcohol.

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the single-vehicle rollover crash that happened around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 94, five miles east of Alexandria.

The Patrol’s incident report says Hutchinson was wearing his seatbelt and alcohol was involved. Hutchinson was driving a 2021 Ford Explorer, which the State Patrol says is owned by Hennepin County.

In a statement, Hutchinson said he “made the inexcusable decision to drive after drinking alcohol and I am 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,” he wrote in the statement.

Hutchinson had non-life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Alexandria.

The Douglas County Attorney's Office will review the case for possible charges.

According to the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, allegations like the one against Hutchinson will trigger a review for potential licensing sanctions.

Bill Hutton, the president of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, said Hutchinson was at the annual Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference Tuesday night, which was held in Alexandria.

“The Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association strongly dissuades the use of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Leaders should inspire accountability through their actions and the immense amount of responsibility that comes with that,” Hutton said in an emailed statement.

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