An extremely intoxicated motorist with a longtime compulsion for driving drunk drove his minivan into a ditch east of Mankato, while two young children were seated behind him and their mother next to him, according to prosecutors.
William B. Fuller, 50, of Waseca, Minn., was charged Monday in Blue Earth County District Court with driving while drunk Saturday and while his license was canceled after he was deemed a threat to public safety.
Roughly two hours after Fuller drove into the ditch Saturday evening along 206th Street, a sheriff’s deputy measured his blood alcohol content at 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the complaint read.
According to the county attorney’s office, a 911 caller alerted authorities to the vehicle in the ditch and voiced concern about two children younger than 8 in car seats in the van’s second row.
A deputy found Fuller had an “overwhelming” aroma of alcohol, the criminal complaint read. After refusing field sobriety testing, the “stumbling and swaying” Fuller was arrested, the charging document continued.
Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Maurer said he didn’t know the relationship of the 29-year-old woman to Fuller but confirmed that she is the mother of the children. Maurer said the mother also had been drinking, but “I don’t know her level of intoxication” at the time of the crash.
The gross-misdemeanor charges against Fuller noted that he has seven previous drunken-driving convictions on his record dating from 1985 to December 2014. He also was sentenced late last year in a domestic assault case involving the choking of a woman. His stayed jail term required him to abstain from drinking and undergo treatment.
According to a court bail report filed this week, Fuller is a longtime Waseca resident who has worked as a contractor for 25 years. He was released from jail Monday after posting bond ahead of a court appearance next week. A telephone message was left at Fuller’s home seeking reaction to the allegations.