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Clara City woman gets 270-day jail sentence for DWI

WILLMAR –– Denise Marie Remkus, 34, of Clara City, was sentenced to 270 days in the Kandiyohi County Jail for a felony charge of driving while impaired for driving a vehicle that was involved in a property damage crash at a Willmar apartment complex in March.

In June, Remkus pleaded guilty to the felony DWI charge and in exchange another felony DWI charge, as well as two driving offenses related to the incident, were dismissed.

The charges were filed after March 31, when both the Willmar Police Department and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff ’s Office responded around 11:40 a.m. to a report from the caretaker of Meadow Brook Apartment, located on Becker Avenue Southeast, that a vehicle had crashed into a garage door and then drove away.

The caretaker followed the vehicle into the downtown area, where it was stopped by police who reported the smell of alcohol and saw signs of impairment in the driver, identified as Remkus.

She admitted to drinking two 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 percent. 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.

Remkus will begin serving 180 days in jail after she is discharged from a halfway house program, with credit given for 13 days already served.

She will then spend 30 days in jail once a year from 2015-2017.

A three-year sentence to the state prison in Shakopee was stayed for a period of seven years.

In the sentence handed down Thursday by Judge Michael Thompson, Remkus could be required to serve all the jail time if she is convicted of another DWI.

She was also ordered to pay fines and fees of $1,620, complete a chemical assessment, undergo random testing and pay restitution of $4,806.

Remkus will be on supervised probation for seven years and was ordered to attend a MADD impact panel every other year while on probation.

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.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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