Thom Pertler, Carlton County Attorney, reportedly blew a ridiculous 0.336

Pertler had an open, nearly empty vodka bottle in his car when he was arrested for DUI.
Pertler had an open, nearly empty vodka bottle in his car when he was arrested for DUI.

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On the afternoon of July 17, Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler was reportedly driving with an intoxication level equivalent with surgical anesthesia.

Though Pertler, 48, resisted breath exams by "providing 47 weak breaths of air" before he stopped blowing, a Carlton County blog reports that Pertler's first deficient breath sample indicated his BAL was 0.336 when he was pulled over, which is well over four times the legal limit.

From Cartoon County MN: "[Pertler's] BAC from a deficient breath sample given at 1410 hours was .336. A second deficient breath sample given revealed a .320 BAC, a third that was again regarded as deficient of 39 weak air breaths resulted in a deficient breath sample of .325 at 1529 hours."

Considering his ridiculous BAL at the time of his arrest -- and the fact the July 17 incident wasn't Pertler's first alcohol-related fiasco this year -- yesterday's news that Pertler has checked himself into Hazelden for alcohol treatment is unsurprising.

He faces seven crimes in connection with his DUI arrest, including fourth-degree driving while impaired and refusing to submit to a chemical test.

Since County Attorney is an elected office, it looks as though it'll be difficult for the Carlton County Board to replace Pertler before the 2014 election. One route the board could take would involve making a case that Pertler's DUI conviction (assuming he's convicted) is an "infamous crime" -- a designation that would allow commissioners to remove him from office. Another would be to have 25 percent of Carlton County residents who voted in the last election sign a petition calling for him to be replaced.

At a board meeting on Monday, two commissioners were asked to research the board's options, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Following the meeting, Carlton County Board Chairman Ted Pihlman told the Tribune, "Right now, it's a delicate situation and I have no comment for you." Pertler's next court appearance is scheduled for August 16.

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