Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson was sentenced Monday to two years' probation and fined $610 on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge after he crashed his county-owned SUV near Alexandria.
His 90-day jail sentence is "stayed," meaning he won't have to serve the time unless he violates terms of his probation.
While on probation, he must not have any driving or alcohol-related violations, must not drink alcohol or use controlled substances and must submit to random testing.
Hutchinson's sentence was nearly identical to the plea agreement he made last week. He pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree DUI.
He initially was charged with four misdemeanor drunken driving offenses, including carrying a pistol under the influence. That charge will be continued for dismissal at a later date.
Hutchinson, who suffered broken ribs in the accident, has returned to work and entered an outpatient treatment program to address his issues with alcohol.
Hutchinson crashed his SUV at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 8 on Interstate 94 near Alexandria after attending a state sheriff's conference.
His blood alcohol content was 0.13%; the state legal limit is 0.08%. According to a search warrant, officers who went to the scene concluded Hutchinson was intoxicated because of a strong odor of alcohol and his poor balance and slurred speech.
In a written statement after he pleaded guilty Thursday, he said said the crash was a "wake-up call for me."
"I understand the seriousness of my actions for which I take full responsibility," he wrote.
Fred Bruno, Hutchinson's attorney, said the sentence for a first-time DUI is standard in Douglas County and almost every county in Minnesota.
"No more, no less," he said. "What is not standard is the speed in which the sheriff accepted responsibility. No games here."
Bruno said the county's insurance covers the costs stemming from the accident. The vehicle was totaled.
Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson said last week that the sheriff's plea agreement was customary for a misdemeanor-level offense. The remaining charges will be dismissed because under state law Hutchinson can be convicted of only one drunken-driving offense related to this incident, Larson said in a written statement .
The only change between the plea agreement reached last week and the requirements spelled out in Monday's sentencing was the amount of the fine: It went from $500 to $610.
Hutchinson was elected as sheriff in 2019. He defeated longtime incumbent Rich Stanek by 2,340 votes.