Regulators may suspend sheriff after drunken crash

Published 6:50 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — State regulators are considering suspending Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson in light of his drunken driving conviction in December.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday that the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training began an investigation shortly after Hutchinson crashed his county-owned SUV near Alexandria on Dec. 8. He acknowledged he had been drinking at a sheriff’s conference.

The sheriff was driving more than 126 miles per hour, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was carrying a loaded gun when he crashed. His blood alcohol level was more than 0.13% about three hours after the crash. Minnesota’s legal limit is 0.08% but drops to 0.04% for anyone driving with a gun.

Hutchinson pleaded guilty to fourth-degree misdemeanor drunken driving and was sentenced to two years on probation.

The board is considering suspending Hutchinson’s law enforcement license, which would render him unable to work as sworn officer and unable to make arrests. He could continue to work for the sheriff’s department performing tasks not associated with sworn police work, the Star Tribune reported.

Hutchinson’s attorney, March Schneider, declined to comment.