Four times in less than three hours, troopers stopped the Chrysler sedan as it rocketed across southern Minnesota at speeds topping 110 miles per hour, its driver carrying a small amount of marijuana but no proof of required car insurance.
The stops earned Lorretta Lacy, 49, a handful of tickets and cost her the drug stash as she raced across two states to get to a granddaughter's middle-school dance in Racine, Wis.
The serial police stops began shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday on Interstate 90 about 10 miles east of Jackson. Witnesses reported her speeding and zipping in and out of traffic, according to the State Patrol.
Lacy, of Sioux Falls, S.D., was clocked at 112 mph in her 1999 Chrysler LHS as she passed a state trooper, then was stopped and ticketed for speeding, no proof of insurance and possession of marijuana, said Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. A "very, very small amount" of marijuana was confiscated, Roeske said.
Just about 20 miles later, she was pulled over near the Fairmont exit, this time clocked at 99 mph. Again, she was ticketed for speeding and no proof of insurance, the patrol said.
After Minnesota and Wisconsin patrols were put on the lookout, she was stopped a little more than an hour later, 10 miles east of Albert Lea, this time for driving 88 mph and no proof of insurance.
Her last of four Minnesota speeding tickets on I-90 came shortly before 5 p.m. for driving 88 in a 70 mph zone just south of Rochester.
While such serial highway behavior is unusual -- and dangerous -- officers rarely take someone off the road for such offenses, police and prosecutors said.
Lacy, a recent transplant to South Dakota from Alabama who was out job-hunting Wednesday in Racine and unavailable to tell her story, faces more than $500 in fines, according to the patrol. However, Roeske said, that total could grow significantly because of the triple-digit mph violation, speeding more than 20 mph over the posted limit and other factors.
In his 14 years as a trooper, Roeske said, he's heard of motorists getting two and even three speeding tickets in a day, but never four.
He added that the offenses, in Lacy's situation petty misdemeanors or misdemeanors, "did not rise to the level where the vehicle was required to be towed or her to be jailed. ... We have to go by the booking guidelines. There is criteria that has to be met."
Had she been driving 100-plus mph a second time, "it could have been a different situation" that would have allowed for her to be removed from the road, Roeske added.
Karyn Sackis Lunn, a prosecutor in Freeborn County, concurred that placing someone in custody for such offenses -- even a rapidly repeating offender -- is left to the discretion of the officer, but said making an arrest could well prompt a judge to ask, "Why is this person being brought in?"
The Wisconsin State Patrol said it had no contact Friday evening with Lacy as she drove about 230 miles from La Crosse to Racine. But police there are familiar with her. The former Wisconsin resident was convicted in 2005 and 2007 for driving under the influence, according to court records.
Lacy's daughter, Carrie Freeman, said she isn't sure whether her mother has a problem with getting speeding tickets, but added, "I know she can make it from A to B faster than probably the average person."
But did she make it to the dance?
"No, no, she didn't," Freeman said. "She got pulled over four times, so, no."
Paul Walsh 612-673-4482