Sauk Rapids Mayor Brad Gunderson was too drunk for jail after drunk-driving arrest

Gunderson plans to stay on as mayor, and apparently still has the City Council's support.
Gunderson plans to stay on as mayor, and apparently still has the City Council's support.
KSTP screengrabs

After he was involved in a one-car wreck and arrested for DUI on Saturday afternoon, Sauk Rapids Mayor Brad Gunderson curiously wasn't booked into Benton County Jail.

SEE ALSO: Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler's 0.234 DUI arrest: The dashboard footage [VIDEO]

The reason? Gunderson was so drunk that jail officials were concerned they couldn't ensure his safety under their watch and wanted him to get medical treatment first.

It was Mayor Gunderson's third drunk-driving arrest, though the prior two both occurred more than two decades ago. While Gunderson's blood-alcohol level at the time of Sunday's arrest hasn't been revealed, the St. Cloud Times reports that "The jail has a policy that it won't accept an inmate with a blood-alcohol level of 0.25 and above, or who is exhibiting signs of impairment that might create safety concerns for the inmate or others at the jail."

More from the Times:

"They did a PBT (preliminary breath test) over at the jail, and the jail said he was too high and said they wouldn't take him," [State Patrol Captain Al Kutz] said. "(The trooper who brought Gunderson to jail) hadn't had a DUI arrest that high in a while and he hadn't heard about the policy."...

Rather than take Gunderson to the hospital and wait for him to be cleared, the trooper took Gunderson, who was "functioning pretty well," to his home where he was left in the custody of a sober adult, Kutz said...

Gunderson has been put on leave of absence from his job at Metro Bus, where he drove for its Dial-A-Ride program, said David Tripp, executive director of Metro Bus...

Gunderson came to work Monday, the day after his arrest, and worked nearly the entire shift before Metro Bus officials learned of his Sunday arrest, Tripp said. Gunderson was then put on leave of absence.

Despite his embarrassing drunk-driving arrest, Gunderson, 48, plans to stay on as mayor. He was first elected last November.

"I plan to straighten this out and move on," Gunderson told the Times, adding that he still has the support of each City Council member. Doesn't take much, apparently.

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