Convivial broadcast traffic reporter Juli Jay is portrayed by police as a demanding, belligerent drinker who was so out of it when arrested last week on suspicion of DWI that she didn't seem to realize she had driven her SUV into a ditch.
The criminal complaint filed by Golden Valley prosecutor Frank Rondoni retraced Jay's alleged steps from Robbinsdale's Eagle's Nest bar, where she arrived at 9 p.m. (and was eventually denied service) to the intersection of Duluth Street and Highway 100, four hours later. One harrowing sentence details how fortunate Jay was not to have injured herself or some other motorist or pedestrian at around 12:57 a.m. Thursday:
"Officers arrived on scene and observed tracks through the snow over the northwest corner of the intersection that continued across the westbound lanes up onto the median, over the sidewalk, continuing over the eastbound lanes up onto the curb, down and up the side of a ditch, where officers then observed a black SUV resting next to a tree and a large propane tank."
Police smelled the strong odor of alcohol on Jay, according to the court document, which also notes her DWI conviction on Oct. 27, 2005.
"During an inventory of the vehicle, officers found a glass that contained alcohol, as well as ice cubes. The defendant's eyes were bloodshot and watery and her speech was slurred. She admitted she had been consuming alcohol prior to driving," reads the court document.
Jay has been off the "FOX 9 Morning News" since Nov. 5, when she said she was injured in a freak accident outside a restaurant. Jay and her husband FOX 9 photojournalist Brad Swagger told me she stepped awkwardly off a bicycle rack on which she had been sitting. She said, as you can see in at tinyurl.com/27kjnpr, that she shattered bones from her right knee through her heel, in an accident that landed her in the hospital and naturally on crutches.
Because Jay "was on crutches at the time and could not do outside field sobriety tests" she was given a "horizontal gaze nystagmus test" the results of which indicated alleged alcohol impairment, reads the complaint.
But Jay apparently wasn't impaired to the point of submissiveness. She reportedly refused to give information that would identify her or provide blood or urine for testing. "She refused to sign paperwork, including a notice and order of revocation and notice of seizure and intent to forfeit vehicle," according to court papers. "Officers noted that the defendant exhibited extreme mood swings, being uncooperative at times, screaming, using vulgar language and using insulting comments towards Golden Valley officers. The behavior continued with the Hennepin County booking staff."
Jay reportedly did tell authorities that she had been drinking at Eagle's Nest bar, which is about five minutes from her home.
A bartender there told police that Jay was a regular, according to the document, which also states: "The defendant arrived at approximately 9 p.m. and stayed until the early hours of Dec. 9, 2010. The bartender also confirmed that the defendant's behavior was annoying and obnoxious at the bar and that she had been drinking bloody Mary's with beer chasers.
"The bartender indicated that the defendant was so intoxicated at the bar that the bartender did not feel comfortable serving her more alcohol. The bartender further indicated that the last call of the bar was at 12:30 a.m., and approximately 15 minutes after that, [Jay] approached him and begged for more alcohol. The bartender refused, indicating that she had already had too much to drink."
Jay could not be reached for comment today when I left her a text message at her cell phone, which now rings with a busy signal.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.