The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 9, 2013

Long prison term stands for repeat drunken driver

(Continued)

Along with a criminal record including forgery and theft charges, Uhde was arrested for misdemeanor drunken driving six times from 1989 to 2001. His first felony arrest for the crime was in August 2002. He received a stayed 42-month sentence after he pleaded guilty to first-degree drunken driving in February 2003.
Uhde was sentenced May 15, 2003, and a warrant was issued for his arrest 12 days later because he had violated the terms of his probation. He was sent to prison to serve the 42 months.
Uhde was still on conditional release from prison in August 2008 when he was arrested for the second felony drunken-driving charge. Even though sentencing guidelines called for an automatic 54-month prison sentence, District Court Judge Allison Krehbiel gave Uhde a stayed sentence with the conditions he complete Watonwan County’s Drug Court program, not use alcohol, and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
In December 2009, Uhde moved to Crow Wing County so his probation supervision was transferred there. That county wouldn’t accept Uhde into its DWI and Drug Court programs because of his criminal record. So that portion of his probation was suspended. His probation agent also said he was unable to verify if Uhde was participating in a support group.
The appeals court ruling said Uhde’s argument that he had been sober for a long time, only “broke down and drank on one occasion” and stayed at home rather than driving was not persuasive.
“The terms of (Uhde’s) probation did not merely require him to abstain from drinking and driving, but required him to abstain from drinking and possessing alcohol entirely,” the ruling said. “Moreover, maintenance of sobriety for 46 months does not excuse or justify (Uhde’s) alcohol intake when he had been ordered to abstain from drinking or possessing alcohol for the entire seven-year period of probation.”
Uhde is serving his sentence in the Lino Lakes prison. His anticipated release is in March 2015.

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