Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Mayor Val Gets a DWI

Busted
The New Brighton mayor’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when a police officer pulled her over early Sunday morning, according to charges filed against her Tuesday.

Valerie Johnson admitted to the offense when she made her first appearance on the charges Tuesday afternoon at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center.

Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree DWI during the hearing. A second count against her was dropped.

Johnson, 60, was pulled over at Ramsey County Road E and Old Highway 8 at 1:55 a.m. Sunday by a New Brighton police officer who noted she had expired tabs and was traveling 54 mph in a 40 mph zone, legal documents say.

Johnson was slurring her speech and exhibited watery, bloodshot eyes, during the traffic stop, so she was given a preliminary breath test.

Her blood-alcohol at the time was 0.17, according to the charges. The legal limit to drive is 0.08 in Minnesota.
A few thoughts:

  • If you blow a 0.17, you have no excuse. None.
  • As readers of this feature know, I don't care for Mayor Johnson or her politics. I think she's been an abysmally bad mayor for any number of reasons. That stands.
  • I've not personally witnessed her public behavior, but it's long been an open secret that she likes to drink and often drinks to excess. The stories have gone around town for years. Perhaps she'll learn from this. I hope she does.
  • The most curious thing about the episode? I do not know how she could possibly have expired tabs. She is the mayor of New Brighton. There is a license bureau in City Hall. She would have had almost unlimited opportunities to go get new tabs. Plenty of people have trouble getting over to the license bureau. It does not compute.
  • Should she resign? Maybe, but I'm not calling for it. She needs to get help, though, and soon. She could have killed someone. 
We'll continue to watch this matter. The jockeying for position could get interesting.

7 comments:

jerrye92002 said...

I would be more strict with the good mayor, or with anyone else that loaded and behind the wheel. The object should be to make the penalty high enough to make the crime unthinkable. A couple of European laws come to mind, if they are still in place:
1. Sweden-- first offense you lose your license, you lose your car, and you never drive again.
2. Albania-- summary execution.

Bike Bubba said...

She was arrested at about the average BAC for DUI, for what it's worth, and that level of drinking very often suggests physical dependence--e.g. she may be a "functional alcoholic" at this point (though dysfunctional in our view, obviously).

I'm thinking she ought to go for two reasons; first being that hat trick of speeding, expired tabs, and drunken driving, and the second being that the first indicates she needs to get some help.

R.A. Crankbait said...

Maybe she'll get her hand-picked City Council to pass a resolution to retroactively excuse DUI by city leaders under extreme stress.

Bike Bubba said...

Notice the city has a manager, which would often indicate Mrs. Johnson has a day job--what might that be? The reason I ask is because the failure to renew tags is technically a felony that would lock a person out of certain jobs, most notably anything to do with finance--even bank teller. I would dare suggest that she's gotten a huge "courtesy" from the DA already.

And that could be a huge harm to her in the end if she's not just a problem drinker, but a functional alcoholic.

Mr. D said...

Notice the city has a manager, which would often indicate Mrs. Johnson has a day job--what might that be?

Don't know the answer to that, Bubba. At this point, pace Jerry, she should be glad that New Brighton isn't Albania, although in some parts of the metro it might as well be.

R.A. Crankbait said...

An Albanian goat rodeo has more respect for due process than the New Brighton City Council.

Mr. D said...

An Albanian goat rodeo has more respect for due process than the New Brighton City Council.

Laughing at the line. Crying because it's true.