The Potluck

Hennepin County sheriff under investigation for potential DWI

By: - December 8, 2021 3:18 pm

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson. Photo courtesy of Hennepin County.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is under investigation for a potential drunk driving incident, the Minnesota State Patrol announced Wednesday.

Hutchinson crashed a Hennepin County vehicle near Alexandria around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the State Patrol.

Hutchinson, who was elected in 2018, said in a statement that he is “deeply sorry” for making the “inexcusable decision to drive after drinking alcohol” and will accept the consequences for his actions.

Hutchinson was the only person involved in the crash and was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are pending based on the results of a urine sample and review of the case by the Douglas County Attorney’s Office. 

It appears Hutchinson may have been in Alexandria for the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association’s winter conference, which ended Tuesday night with a cash bar, according to a conference schedule

If convicted, Hutchinson could lose his peace officer license, which is required to be a sheriff. The state Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training in 2018 added fourth-degree DWI — a misdemeanor and the lowest level of DWI charge — to the list of crimes that trigger review of an officer’s licensure status.

Hutchinson said in a statement that he takes full responsibility for his actions and will seek help for issues with alcohol use.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.