Smashed: The toll of driving drunk in Minnesota

One face, one case: Wesley Eugene Brooks

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2010 - 10:00 AM

Wesley Eugene Brooks

Photo: Scott County Jail

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Latest incident: About 7 a.m. Jan. 25, on Fish Point Road in Prior Lake.

Description: Brooks was charged with drunken driving after police found him passed out in his 2009 Audi A8 near two middle schools while students were being dropped off for classes. The car was running and Brooks' foot was on the brake, according to Prior Lake police. Another driver called police after watching Brooks drive erratically on icy streets near the schools.

Brooks needed help walking and wouldn't answer questions or take a blood-alcohol field test, police said. He flicked urine into the face of a nearby officer while collecting a sample. His blood-alcohol content registered 0.15 percent, almost twice the legal limit. Police also found marijuana, a bottle of vodka and a package containing white powder in Brooks' car.

Status: Brooks, whose license was suspended in October 2009 in a drunken driving incident, was released after posting a $40,000 bond. He was charged with felony DWI, which carries up to seven years in prison and $14,000 in fines upon conviction. He also was charged with felony assault of a peace officer, driving without a license, possession of marijuana and an open bottle violation. Police are trying to seize Brooks' car through forfeiture proceedings. Brooks also is facing felony DWI and other charges in a July incident.

History: Since 1992, Brooks has been convicted of six drunken driving charges. He was cited 12 times for driving after his license was revoked.

JANE FRIEDMANN

  • about this series

  • In Minnesota, drunken drivers who kill someone with their car sometimes get less time behind bars than nonviolent offenders. Public safety advocates say it's part of a culture of forgiveness surrounding drunken driving, a social problem that killed 893 people on Minnesota roads in the past five years. Read the Star Tribune's in-depth look at the scourge of drunken driving, the victims it claims and the public safety questions it raises.

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