An Edina man whose blood-alcohol content registered at three and a half times the legal limit has been charged with drunken driving after police say he offered to pay them $1,000 to let him go.
Samuel Edward Waters, 22, is charged with two gross misdemeanors: refusing to submit to field sobriety tests and third-degree driving while intoxicated, each of which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
He is also charged with hitting a car and driving away without stopping, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by an Edina police detective, a caller alerted police just before 9 p.m. June 27 of someone driving over curbs and flinging beer cans out the car windows on 70th Street West near the .
The caller provided a description of the car and the license plate number.
Police checked the car’s license plate and found that it was registered to a woman who lives in the 6800 block of Chapel Lane in Edina. An officer drove to the home, and as he approached the intersection of Chapel Lane and Valley View Road, he spotted the suspect vehicle making a right turn onto Chapel Lane, driving up and over a curb.
The officer turned on his squad car’s emergency lights, and the suspect turned into a driveway and stopped.
The officer approached the car and noted that the driver—later identified as Waters—had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled like alcohol. Waters was holding a burrito from a nearby fast-food restaurant, but had spilled most of the burrito on his pants, the complaint notes.
The officer asked Waters repeatedly to put down his burrito and retrieve his driver’s license and proof of insurance. However, Waters held on to the burrito, which he continued to spill.
In a slurred voice, Waters asked the officer “numerous times” how much money it would take to make him “go away,” and several times offered the officer $1,000 to let him go inside his house and get some sleep, the complaint charges.
Waters admitted that he had been drinking at a restaurant in the Galleria earlier, according to the complaint.
While Waters was attempting to perform field sobriety tests, he reportedly told the officer, "You [expletive] win, dude, I’m drunk." When the officer asked if he would perform any more sobriety tests, Waters allegedly replied, "I’m kinda drunk, I don’t know what to say."
Waters provided a breath sample, which registered a blood-alcohol content of .284 percent.
A dispatcher told the officer Waters had been involved in a hit-and-run collision near the intersection of Valley View and Antrim roads. A different officer investigated the accident and found the drivers of two vehicles standing beside their cars, one of them with damage on the passenger side that appeared to have been caused when it was struck from behind.
The driver of the damaged car told police that he had been stopped at a stop sign when Waters struck him from behind. The driver put his car in park; as he got out of the car, Waters hit his car again.
The driver asked Waters what he was doing, but he told police he couldn’t understand his reply because his mouth was full of a burrito that he was eating. He asked Waters to back up, but Waters stepped on the accelerator and pushed on the victim’s car.
Eventually Waters backed up his car, drove around the damaged vehicle and sped away, the victim told police.
Waters was taken to the , where at some point he urinated in a cell and was found lying on the floor beside a large puddle or urine, according to the complaint. He refused to provide a blood or urine sample for testing, the complaint says.
Waters also refused to be fingerprinted, and when his photo was taken, he held up both hands and displayed his middle fingers, according to the complaint.
Waters is free on a $12,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges July 26 in Hennepin County District Court.