Thom Pertler, Carlton County attorney, had nearly empty bottle of vodka in car
Today, details have emerged about the circumstances of Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler's Tuesday afternoon DUI arrest.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, when he was pulled over around 12:30 that afternoon, Pertler had a nearly empty bottle of vodka under his seat. Officers asked him why he put it there, to which Pertler replied, "cause."
Pertler, who was in fact traveling southbound on Highway 61 toward Duluth in his gray 2010 Chevrolet sedan when he was pulled over, apparently had no idea where he was. From the Tribune:
Pertler told the trooper that he believed he was on Highway 53 and that he was going to Menards in Hermantown from his home in Cloquet to get paint. He also said that he thought he was going to Duluth from Duluth. When asked how much he had to drink that day, Pertler allegedly told the trooper "not as much as you think." The county attorney would not answer any other questions about his drinking, the trooper said.
Though Pertler resisted submitting to a breath exam -- he "provided 47 weak breaths of air and stopped blowing when the volume of air on the intoxilizer would go up," the Tribune reports -- a preliminary breath test revealed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.234, nearly three times the legal limit.
He's been charged with seven crimes, including refusal to submit to a chemical test, fourth-degree driving while impaired, speeding, driving over the center line, failure to signal, possession of an open bottle, and no proof of insurance. Pertler posted his $3,000 bail yesterday around 1 p.m. A secretary at his Carlton County office told reporters he wasn't in Wednesday afternoon.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.