Man sentenced to prison on DWI charge; Was over twice the legal limit

Published 8:01 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

Michael Joe Vandeweerd, 39, of Austin was sentenced on Tuesday in Mower County District Court to 51 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for felony first-degree DWI-alcohol concentration 0.08 within two hours. He received credit for 222 days served.

Michael Joe Vandeweerd, 39

Charges of first-degree DWI-under the influence of alcohol and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety were dismissed.

Judge Christa M. Daily issued the sentence.

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Vandeweerd was arrested in the early morning hours of July 5, 2018, after officers responded to a call of a vehicle in a ditch near Sixth Street Northeast and the Interstate 90 westbound ramp. According to court documents, officers spotted a 2000 Ford F150 truck and a 1986 Ford Thunderbird parked on the side of the on ramp. Vandeweerd and a woman were both at the scene.

An officer spoke to Vandeweerd, who said his “daughter” was driving the Thunderbird and it had “broken down.” He then picked up the woman to help him bring the Thunderbird back to his residence. They drove to the scene, but did not know where his “daughter” was.

The officer could tell that Vandeweerd was intoxicated and had him perform three field sobriety tests, all of which he failed. He was arrested and agreed to a breath test at the Mower County Jail. The result of the breath test showed that he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17 percent, over twice the legal limit.

A review of Vandeweerd’s criminal record shows prior convictions for DWI and burglary.

In addition to the sentence, Vandeweerd must also pay $85 in fees.