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Drunk driver says throw out my case, the law is on my side

River Falls police, with the help of a Pierce County Sheriff's deputy, arrested a 20-year-old Ellsworth woman for drunk driving before 3 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Hwy. 29 and the Hwy. 65/35 bypass. The woman allegedly hit and knocked over a "Keep Right" highway sign that another driver later ran over and got a flat tire on. The woman's front-end smashed 2008 Chevy Cobalt left a big trail of dripping antifreeze. The car was stopped by a deputy south of River Falls on Hwy. 65.

The woman insisted she wasn't drunk, that she was drinking at a downtown bar, and that a bartender there could verify her sobriety.

She refused to take field sobriety tests, saying she wanted to call her aunt, an attorney, first. She also claimed her car hadn't crashed into the traffic sign.

Police say they recovered the woman's bent-up license plate from the accident scene. She had to be forcibly handcuffed and brought to the police station.

She allegedly warned officers that she was a second-year law student, that her rights were being violated and that her case would be thrown out in court. She also said she was a friend of the Ellsworth police chief who would help her.

The woman was eventually released to the sober care of her parents. She has a 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20 River Falls Municipal Court date scheduled.

Police also:

--Arrested a 25-year-old local man for strangulation/disorderly conduct for an incident before 2 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the 700 and 800 blocks of Sycamore Street. The alleged victim was the man's former girlfriend. Though broken up, the two had been out at the bars together downtown. On the way home, they argued -- apparently about people they knew who had cheated on each other in relationships. During the fighting, the man allegedly pushed, slapped and choked the woman, who fell in a snowbank. He said she was very confrontational and that he was just trying to get away from her. Officers took him away to county jail in Ellsworth.

--Arrested a 47-year-old local woman for possession of meth, meth paraphernalia, driving while revoked and failing to install an ignition interlock device after 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Cemetery Road and South Main Street. The woman's Jeep Grand Cherokee was pulled over for a traffic stop. Officers allegedly found drug-related items in the woman's purse, including a white crystal powdery substance in a baggy that was believed to be methamphetamine. The woman was taken to jail. Charges are pending with the Pierce County district attorney.

For more, please see Police Beat in the Jan. 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.