Minnesota state trooper accused of DUI was cited for speedingA Minnesota State Patrol trooper who was arrested last week for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol on his way to a training session in Duluth was convicted in January of speeding while on his way to work.
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune
A Minnesota State Patrol trooper who was arrested last week for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol on his way to a training session in Duluth was convicted in January of speeding while on his way to work.
Trooper Nick Morse, 29, of Two Harbors, is charged with two misdemeanor crimes in last week’s incident: operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and registering a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle. Morse is scheduled to be arraigned in State District Court in Duluth on the charges Oct. 16.
The State Patrol issued a news release last week that stated that Morris was arrested Wednesday when a supervisor noticed the odor of alcohol coming from the trooper when he reported to a training session at 8:10 a.m. that day.
According to court-filed reports of the incident:
When Morse reported to the training session he told a supervisor that he had locked his keys in his squad car. A supervisor noticed that Morse’s eyes were bloodshot and very watery and that he emitted an odor of alcohol when he entered the training room.
A supervisor retrieved a spare set of keys and went to Morse’s squad car and found it parked “in a very odd way.” The inside of the car had the odor of an alcoholic beverage and the ignition was in the “on” position, but the vehicle wasn’t running.
Morse was then given a series of field-sobriety tests. After completion of the tests, the trooper was informed that he was under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.
He was arrested by a State Patrol lieutenant and transported to the St. Louis County Jail. He was allowed to make an eight-minute phone call to an attorney and then submitted to a breath test, which revealed an alcohol concentration of .08.
At one point in the process, Morse asked about the status of his job and was told that would be determined at a later date.
State Patrol Capt. Steve Stromback said Monday that Morse remains on investigative leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations.
On Dec. 7, 2011, Morse was stopped by a Duluth police officer at 2:45 p.m. The officer reported that radar indicated a black Honda Pilot, being driven by Morse, was traveling at 83 mph in a 65 mph zone north on Highway 61 between Lakewood Road and the French River.
The officer wrote in his report that the driver stated he was on his way to work. Morse would have been traveling to his rural Two Harbors home to pick up his squad car.
In that incident, Morse was convicted of a petty misdemeanor for speeding 79 mph in a 65 mph zone. He paid $135 in fines and surcharges.
Reached by phone on Monday, Morse declined to comment on either the speeding incident or the alleged DUI incident.