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Man gets 62 months for felony DWI, had child in back seat

WILLMAR -- Jose Luis Angel Salinas, 29, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 62 months in prison, plus a five-year conditional release period, on a felony charge of driving while impaired.

According to court files, Salinas was arrested by Willmar police officers on Nov. 9 after a citizen reported a vehicle all over the road at speeds of 80 to 90 mph on U.S. Highway 12. Responding officers found an 18-month-old child strapped into a car seat, an open can of beer and several unopened cans of beer when they located the vehicle and Salinas at a fast food restaurant.

As part of the sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony charge for driving while impaired, a gross misdemeanor for driving after cancellation - inimical to public safety and a misdemeanor for open bottle were dismissed. Salinas was given credit for 109 days already served in jail and ordered to pay a $50 fine.

Court records indicate Salinas had three prior DWI convictions, for incidents in April 2000, May 2000 and March 2009.

According to the complaint, the responding officer located the suspected vehicle in a handicapped parking spot at Burger King and went into the restaurant, where he found Salinas. The officer questioned Salinas, who said the car and child were his and that he'd driven from "over there" pointing down the highway when asked where he'd come from and where he was going. He exhibited signs of alcohol consumption and would not cooperate with the officer, who attempted to administer sobriety tests.

Salinas was taken into custody and another officer waited with the car and the child while the responding officer drove Salinas to Regency Estates East, where they notified a relative to pick up the child.

In both English and Spanish, Salinas swore at and threatened the officers and jail staff as he was booked into the county jail. He first agreed and then refused to submit to breath testing at the Law Enforcement Center.

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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