James G. Bouchard
, Dakota County jail
Rosemount man with deadly DWI on record arrested after driving drunk at home
- Article by: PAT PHEIFER
- Star Tribune
- December 5, 2012 - 11:32 PM
A Rosemount man previously convicted for a drunken-driving crash that killed a passenger is back in trouble for allegedly driving drunk -- in his own driveway and yard.
James G. Bouchard, 28, was charged Wednesday in Dakota County District Court with first-degree drunken driving, obstructing the legal process and fourth-degree criminal damage to property.
In 2006, at age 21, he drove drunk and crashed his car, killing a 25-year-old passenger. He pleaded guilty and served jail time but never went to prison.
On Sunday, a neighbor called police to Bouchard's Rosemount home about 2:45 a.m., saying he was squealing the tires of his pickup truck and blasting music. According to a criminal complaint, when the first officer arrived, Bouchard tried to run away before being caught and handcuffed.
The officer reported that Bouchard smelled strongly of alcohol, had watery, bloodshot eyes and walked unsteadily.
He was taken to the Rosemount Police Department, where he shouted vulgarities and refused to take a breath test, the complaint said.
The officer returned to Bouchard's home the next day and saw tire tracks in the yard and skid marks on the driveway. The neighbor's mailbox had been knocked down and a piece of wire from the truck was stuck to it, the complaint said.
Bouchard was critically injured and passenger Joshua P. Ruggles, 25, of Apple Valley, was killed on Jan. 28, 2006, when Bouchard lost control of his car and crashed on County Road 46.
He pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in that case. A second charge of criminal vehicular homicide and one of drunken driving were dismissed.
He initially received seven years of probation, which he violated in 2008 and 2009. On the first violation, he could have received four years in prison, but instead was ordered to serve jail time, was placed on alcohol monitoring and continued probation. His probation was continued again on his second violation. His probation is scheduled to end in 2013.
In 2011, he pleaded guilty to violating his conditional driver's license. A charge of marijuana possession was dismissed. He received a 30-day stayed sentence in that case.
Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284
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