An alleged drunk driver whose blood alcohol level was listed at seven times the state’s legal limit of intoxication is facing up to 10 years in prison on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, fifth offense.
A complaint fileåd Nov. 6, 2020, identifies the defendant as Joseph T. Long, 39, rural Cumberland.
Numerous witnesses reported the defendant was intoxicated and driving a vehicle on the evening of Sept. 26 on the Maple Plain Reservation, northwest of Cumberland, the complaint said.
Shortly after 8 p.m. that evening, a tribal police officer found a vehicle in the ditch in the 2500 block of 2 9/16 Street, town of Maple Plain. No one was in the vehicle, but two witnesses directed the officer to a nearby home, where he found a man, later identified as the defendant, on the front porch.
The officer warned the defendant not to go inside. The defendant allegedly cursed the officer, raised what appeared to be a hammer in his right hand, and began walking toward the officer.
The officer drew his service weapon and repeatedly warned the defendant to drop the hammer. A relative of the defendant took the hammer out of his hand and threw it aside.
The defendant allegedly threatened the officer twice, then picked up a shovel that was on the porch before the officer shot him with a Taser. He was taken into custody.
A later blood test showed the defendant’s blood-alcohol level at .578, compared to the state’s legal limit of .08.
Because of the defendant’s level of intoxication, the Barron County Jail indicated it could not accept him. He was released to medical staff at Cumberland Hospital.
Records show Long has four prior drunk driving convictions on his record dating back to 2005.