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Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat convicted of DWI


Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat pleaded guilty to drunk driving on Wednesday and was sentenced to two years probation as well as a suspended prison sentence as part of the deal. plea, according to court records.

The 61-year-old Democrat was jailed on the night of October 5 in Dayton and charged with driving under the influence in connection with a traffic stop. Opat was first elected to Hennepin County Council in 1992; he did not seek re-election in 2020.

According to the charges, Opat “failed to come to a complete stop” at a stop sign at N. 113th Avenue and Fernbrook Lane, leading to an officer arresting him.

The criminal complaint says the officer who arrested Opat gave him a preliminary breath test, which measured his blood alcohol level at 0.093%, above the legal limit of 0.08% for driving in the Minnesota.

As part of the deal, Opat pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor, DWI in the fourth degree. His 30-day jail sentence is suspended unless he violates the other terms of his sentence.

Other terms in the phrase include:

  • $378 fine.
  • Two days of work for Minnesota’s “Sentencing to Service” program, an alternative to sentencing that puts “carefully selected, nonviolent offenders to work on community improvement projects,” according to the program’s website.
  • A one-day DWI program and chemical dependency assessment.
  • Attend a panel on the impact of victims of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
  • Maintain a valid license and insurance.
  • Must not commit a similar offence.
  • Impossible to drive without insurance.

Opat’s attorney, Paul Applebaum, did not respond to requests for comment.

Writer Kyeland Jackson contributed to this report.

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