A Ramsey County district judge pleaded guilty Tuesday to drunken driving after being arrested on New Year's Day.
Gurdip Singh Atwal, known in court as G. Tony Atwal, submitted to a breath test about two hours after he was stopped, and registered a blood alcohol content of 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Atwal, 43, did not return a message seeking comment.
"Judge Atwal is humbled and remorseful for his poor decision," his attorney, Patrick Cotter, said in a written statement. "He accepts full responsibility for this mistake and he accepts the consequences."
Atwal apologized in court for his actions, Cotter said.
Atwal pleaded guilty to one count of gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while impaired. A second count of gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while impaired and one count each of misdemeanor careless driving and failing to stop at a stop sign were dismissed as part of the plea.
According to court records, Hennepin County Judge Shereen Askalani, who is handling the case to avoid a conflict of interest, sentenced him to a year in the Ramsey County workhouse. She stayed 345 days for two years' probation.
Atwal will have to serve 20 days on electronic home monitoring with work release, if eligible. He received two days' credit for time served in the county jail after his arrest, and was released Tuesday.
Atwal's probation requires him to undergo chemical dependency evaluation and treatment and to abstain from driving violations, among other conditions.
Cotter said Atwal intends to return to work presiding over criminal cases.
The state court administrator's office said Ramsey County Chief Judge John Guthmann is reviewing the terms of Atwal's sentence, and it's unclear when he will return to the bench. Atwal's assignments this week were assigned to other judges. An on-call judge was notified of his arrest soon after his booking, the office said.
According to the criminal complaint: An officer was on patrol on Kellogg and John Ireland boulevards about 12:45 a.m. Monday when he saw a car speeding. Court records show that Atwal lives about a mile away in the Penfield, which is described as a "premier luxury mixed-use apartment community" in downtown St. Paul.
The officer estimated that the car was traveling about 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. He tried to catch up to the car, but it didn't stop completely at a stop sign at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
The officer eventually stopped the car.
"While speaking to the defendant [the officer] noticed the Defendant's eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that his speech was slightly slurred," the charges said. "[The officer] also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the Defendant's breath."
Atwal told the officer that he drank two glasses of wine and a gin and tonic.
Atwal failed two field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test and was arrested.
He was given another breath test at 2:34 a.m. and registered 0.17 percent.
Court records show that Atwal pleaded guilty to fourth-degree driving while impaired in 2007 in Washington County and was sentenced to two years' probation.
Atwal was appointed to the bench May 16, 2016, by Gov. Mark Dayton. He graduated from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2003, and obtained his bachelor's of science in economics at Pacific University in Oregon in 1996.