Hijinks at high speed result in DWI charges for two drivers … in the same carAn Ohio man and a woman from Albert Lea, Minn., were both charged with driving while intoxicated after they allegedly tried to fool a Minnesota State Patrol officer last month in Carlton County.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
An Ohio man and a woman from Albert Lea, Minn., were both charged with driving while intoxicated after they allegedly tried to fool a Minnesota State Patrol officer last month in Carlton County.
Timothy James Ryan, 28, from Lucas, Ohio, and Rakshita Lynne Evenson, 21, were initially charged in Carlton County District Court with gross misdemeanor DWI operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, plus Ryan was also charged with DWI refuse to submit to a chemical test in the incident.
According to the criminal complaint:
Trooper Dana Miletich was on patrol near the Mahtowa exit on Interstate 35 when he was passed by a vehicle Ryan was driving at about 9 p.m. March 30. The trooper clocked Ryan at 92 mph. As the trooper put on his lights and siren to pull the vehicle over, Ryan’s car slowed and began swerving badly but did not immediately pull over.
In the complaint, the trooper said he watched as Ryan and his female passenger actually switched seating positions in the car, apparently to show that Rakshita Lynne Evenson, 21, was driving. After Evenson got behind the wheel, she slowed the car to a stop on the shoulder of the interstate.
After Evenson pulled over, the complaint states that Ryan became verbally abusive with the trooper and denied he had ever driven the vehicle. He also refused to take any field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test.
In the end, both defendants faced gross misdemeanor DWI charges. Evenson recorded a .15 alcohol concentration after her Intoxilyzer breath test, nearly twice the legal limit. Ryan refused all blood alcohol concentration tests, so the trooper invoked the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory and later marked Ryan for refusal to test.
Both defendants had prior alcohol-related driving offenses. Evenson had a driving offense from Dec. 28, 2010, while Ryan reportedly told police that he had at least three DWIs in Ohio since 2001. He served 21 days in Carlton County Jail awaiting his court dates.
Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese said Ryan, a veteran, worked with the Carlton County Veterans’ Services office and was transported to a veterans facility in Ohio after sentencing.
Boese said Ryan admitted he had been driving the car after he sobered up.
“He was in a better state of mind after being in jail for a while,” Boese said, adding that Ryan was very cooperative and apologetic the day after the arrest.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Ryan pleaded guilty to DWI refusal to test, and the DWI operating a motor vehicle charge was dismissed. Ryan was sentenced April 19 to probation and mandatory treatment for alcohol use. A jail sentence of one year was stayed.
Evenson’s case is still making its way through the court system. Court records show she was sentenced last year to strict probation that required refraining from any drugs or alcohol and submitting to random tests. She was also told to stay out of establishments that sell liquor.
Evenson made her initial appearance April 9 and demanded a hearing before entering any plea. That hearing is set for May 9. She is currently out on bail.
Mike Creger of Forum Communications contributed to this story.