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Woman arrested for felony-level charge of drunken driving in Willmar

WILLMAR — A 34-year-old Clara City woman made her first appearance Wednesday on felony charges of driving while impaired for allegedly driving a vehicle that was involved in a property damage crash at a Willmar apartment complex and then stopped by law officers in downtown Willmar.

Denise Marie Remkus also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of driving after cancelation – inimical to public safety and a misdemeanor charge of failure to stop for a property damage crash. Her bail was set at $25,000 and her next appearance is April 14 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the court file, Remkus has three prior convictions for driving while impaired in November 2004, December 2005 and September 2010, all in Dakota County.

According to the complaint, both the Willmar Police Department and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s office responded around 11:40 a.m. Monday when the caretaker of an apartment complex along Becker Avenue Southeast reported that a vehicle had crashed into a garage door and the drove away. The caretaker followed the vehicle into the downtown area, where police smelled alcohol and saw signs of impairment in the driver, identified as Remkus.

She allegedly admitted to drinking large cups of vodka and held onto the vehicle to keep from falling down. A preliminary breath test showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.312. She was arrested and a breath test at the Law Enforcement Center showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.25. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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