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Former River Falls man charged with 7th DWI

HUDSON – A man who now lives in Minnesota made his first appearance last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court after a November crash led to his seventh alleged drunken driving offense.

St. Croix County sheriff’s deputies said Gabriel B. Peet was thrown from his 2006 Volvo sedan during the Nov. 4, 2016, crash in the town of Star Prairie.

A blood test taken more than two hours after the crash revealed a 0.199 blood-alcohol content, according to charges filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

The Scandia man faces one count of DWI-seventh offense, a charge that calls for a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was also cited for operating left of center and failure to keep his vehicle under control.

According to a criminal complaint:

Deputies were called at 9:28 p.m. to the area of 1194 County Road H for a crash involving injuries after a passerby came upon the scene and found a man who appeared to have been thrown from his car.

Officers documented skid marks on the roadway that indicated the car was westbound in the eastbound traffic lane when it lost control, crossed back over the centerline and crashed into a ditch, where it struck a road sign and a grove of trees.

Peet was found about 15 to 20 yards away from the vehicle.

Deputies tried talking with Peet after he was placed in an ambulance. He smelled of alcohol and his speech was “slurred and prolonged,” according to the charging document.

Peet was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where the blood test was taken.

Peet’s six previous drunken-driving convictions — half in Minnesota, half in Wisconsin — date back to 1995, with the most recent in 2004. According to Wisconsin court records, Peet was convicted in 2009 of driving while revoked in Ashland County.

He was convicted of the same offense in Bayfield County in 2006, when he listed a River Falls address. 

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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