A mother had five of her children in her vehicle when she drove drunk and veered into a median cable barrier at highway speed near Rochester, then was found at the scene breast-feeding her baby, according to authorities.
Tasha L. Schleicher, 40, of Rochester, was charged Monday in Olmsted County District Court with felony first-degree drunken driving, child endangerment and driving without a valid license. Schleicher is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 4.
Schleicher's driving history includes three drunken driving convictions in the past 10 years, two in Wisconsin in 2008 and another in Kentucky in 2009. She also was charged in Hennepin County in 2015 for possessing marijuana in a vehicle. That count was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to giving police a false name.
Along with the five children in the vehicle, Schleicher has five other children as well, the Sheriff's Office said.
No one was injured during the incident, and the children were turned over to county child protection services, said Sheriff's Capt. Scott Behrns.
According to the charges filed this week:
An off-duty Rochester police sergeant saw Schleicher's car drift off southbound Hwy. 52 at highway speed and sideswipe the cable barrier for roughly 200 feet.
The friction sent pieces of her vehicle into the road, prompting other drivers to swerve.
Schleicher exited the highway on the northern edge of Rochester at 75th Street NW and stopped on the shoulder. She then breast-fed her baby by the side of the highway, according to the Sheriff's Office.
A sheriff's deputy arrived, and Schleicher handed over a Missouri identification card. She did not have a driver's license.
The deputy smelled alcohol coming from Schleicher, and her speech was slow and slurred.
She was arrested and agreed to a preliminary breath test nearly two hours after hitting the barrier.
Her blood alcohol content was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482