A day after Americans voted for president, an extremely drunken motorist rammed into two vehicles stopped at a traffic signal in Lino Lakes and explained to police afterward that she was drinking to drown her sorrows over Donald Trump’s victory, authorities said.
Elizabeth L. Lundberg, who turned 33 while in the Anoka County jail, is charged with gross-misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation and third-degree driving while intoxicated in connection with the crash late Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Main Street and Lake Drive.
The criminal complaint said a preliminary breath test measured the St. Paul woman’s blood alcohol content a few hours after the crash at 0.33 percent, more than four times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
“We heard a new excuse for driving over 4 times the legal limit and hitting two vehicles at a stop light Wednesday afternoon,” read the posting on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
Despite Lundberg’s slurred speech and failing to spell her name for police, according to the charges, she was able to articulate the motivation for her intoxication.
“I am upset over the outcome of the election and you should let me go home,” the police Facebook posting quoted the driver as saying. A police tweet also mentioned her reasoning for drinking.
Police Capt. Wayne Wegener said Monday that a sergeant on the scene said Lundberg was referencing Trump’s victory the previous night.
After leaving jail Monday, Lundberg told the Star Tribune that what she said about Trump was uttered “well after I asked if everyone was OK, and I said it sarcastically. It was such a fleeting comment.”
She added that she was drinking heavily that day but not because Trump was victorious. “I did not shed a tear when he was elected,” she said. “I’m not really into politics, frankly.”
Lundberg also was irritated that Lino Lakes police used their Facebook and Twitter accounts to highlight the crash and her comment about the election.
“I think it’s strange that a police department can tweet something someone said that is so outlandish,” she said.
According to the police incident report, Lundberg told an officer she was on her way home, had a couple of beers and didn’t feel intoxicated. However, the officer found an empty vodka bottle in Lundberg’s purse, which was saturated with the liquor.
She’s scheduled to appear in court in January.
Police said the other drivers in the chain-reaction collision escaped with minor injuries.