Maplewood man faces eighth DWI after stop near Moose Lake

Michael James Bowser, 65, denied drinking despite an open container in the passenger seat.

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A Maplewood, Minnesota, man faces his eighth drunken driving conviction after he was stopped on Interstate 35 near Moose Lake.

Michael James Bowser, 65, was arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol in the early morning of Oct. 17 after two reports of a driver headed south on I-35, weaving over lanes and nearly driving off the road.

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Michael James Bowser

According to the complaint, troopers stopped Bowser's vehicle and detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverages.


Despite Bowser denying he had been drinking, the troopers observed “many indicators” of alcohol use and impairment including slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and an open container on the seat next to him.

The troopers performed several standardized field sobriety tests and showed numerous clues of impairment on three.

Bowser also refused to provide a preliminary breath test and said: “I’ve got a passport and I’m sovereign.”

Troopers brought him to the Carlton County Law Enforcement Center and provided 45 minutes for Bowser to contact an attorney. During that time, Bowser made four phone calls, but did not attempt to contact legal counsel, the complaint said.

"If you just want to wrap it up, why don’t we wrap it up,” he said, and again refused a breath test — a crime in Minnesota.

A check of Bowser’s driving record revealed seven previous convictions for drunken driving — including a felony conviction in 2016 in Hennepin County — and five for refusing to submit to a chemical test.

Bowser faces two felony charges of DWI and refusal to submit to a chemical test. He is also charged with driving after cancellation and driving without an interlock ignition device. Each felony charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

Bowser is being held at the Carlton County Jail on $75,000 bail.


This story was updated at 9:40 a.m. Nov. 13 with a photo of Bowser. It was originally posted at 5:23 p.m. Nov. 12.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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