20 DWI arrests don't add up to a felony for St. Paul Park man

Paul D. Garay has a history of drunken driving. And by "has a history," we mean "has a lifetime 20 arrests for drunk driving." Over the weekend we reported that the 55-year-old pitched his Chevy into the ditch on Christmas Eve, sporting a BAC twice the legal limit.

Alcohol problems aside, Garay's hardly a shining beacon of responsible citizenship; from 2003-2006, he served a drug-related sentence (and no doubt his time in the clink put a serious cramp in his drunk-driving activities). His latest arrest constitutes a violation of parole, so he was held without bail.

But unfortunately because of the way Minnesota law works, Garay won't have to worry about being charged with a felony for his latest escapade. A fourth DUI within a 10-year span carries the force of a felony, but only two of Garay's 20 DWIs happened in the last decade, so the crime will be charged as a gross misdemeanor instead.

With his skill at dodging punishment, it's too bad Garay isn't better at dodging the shoulder of the road.

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