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Burnsville Man Faces DWI Charges After Crashing Car Into Liquor Store: Pick of Our Patches

Keith Alan Potretzke, 56, allegedly left the scene after liquor store employees refused to sell him any more alcohol.

A Burnsville man has run afoul of the law after allegedly running into a liquor store building while driving drunk.

Keith Alan Potretzke, 56, faces two charges of gross misdemeanor DWI, both of which carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $3,000 fine. He also faces a lesser charge for failing to notify the property owner after a car accident, which comes with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine. 

The alleged hit and run occurred on Dec. 5, 2012 at around 1:30 in the afternoon, when officers with the Burnsville Police Department were called to the scene of a personal injury accident at Big Discount Liquors on County Road 11. Employees at Big Discount reported that a vehicle had careened into the side of the building.

They described the driver as an older white male in his 50s. According to witnesses, the man was "stumbling around" the parking lot. He apparently left the scene in the partially-mangled vehicle after the liquor store staff refused to sell him alcohol. 

When police arrived, they observed scratches on the brick wall, but no structural damage was apparent.

Employees were able to give police the man's license plate number. The plate was registered to Potretzke, who was subsequently located at a Bloomington restaurant where he worked. In the restaurant parking lot, officers saw a car with front end damage. When questioned, Potretzke confirmed that he was the driver. He told police that he'd left the scene because the building seemed unscathed by the crash. While speaking, officers noted a strong smell of alcohol emanating from Mr. Potretzke, who also appeared to have bloodshot eyes and poor balance.

Potretzke denied drinking alcohol that day, though he eventually conceded that he'd been drinking into the wee hours of the morning. The suspect failed field sobriety tests. Two hours after the accident, Potretzke's blood alcohol content was .24, three times the legal limit.

Potretzke will make his first court appearance on Feb. 11. He has no prior criminal record.

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