The son of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek pleaded guilty Thursday to fourth-degree drunken driving.
As part of the plea, charges of refusing to submit to a chemical test and marijuana possession were dismissed against Ryan J. Stanek. He was cited by Maple Grove police, but Thursday's plea was held in Ramsey County District Court due to a conflict of interest in Hennepin County.
Under questioning by his attorney, Fred Bruno, Ryan Stanek, 22, admitted that on New Year's Day, he left a party and sat in his car to smoke a cigarette because his friend didn't want him smoking inside. Ryan Stanek had the car keys in his possession, but was not operating the car.
Bruno later said that the car wasn't running.
"Mr. Stanek's conduct barely crosses the line into criminality," Bruno said, "but it crosses the line."
Minnesota law allows for the charging of drunken driving under circumstances where a person has physical control of a vehicle even if it is not operating.
According to a police report of the incident, Ryan Stanek was arrested about 3:30 a.m. on New Year's Day in the 8100 block of Shenandoah Lane. Police responded to a call that there was a person slumped over in a vehicle parked on the street.
Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner sentenced Stanek to one year of probation. He'll also have to pay a $150 fine and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel. He faces 30 days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation.
Warner said the sentence is typical for a first drunken-driving conviction.