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Charges: Drunk Duluth fire chief tried to pass in no-passing zone

He's been placed on administrative leave.

Duluth's Fire Chief Dennis Edwards Jr. was arrested and charged with drunken driving following an incident at the weekend.

Edwards, 48, was stopped by a St. Louis County deputy around 11:40 p.m. last Saturday, March 30, after the deputy spotted an SUV trying to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone going up a hill.

The deputy reported that Edwards failed to maintain the driving lane. 

During the stop, the deputy observed a strong odor of alcohol from inside the SUV, with Edwards eyes described as "glassy and bloodshot." When asked if he'd been drinking, Edwards responded: "Yes."

Roadside tests were performed "poorly" by Edwards, whose preliminary breath test registered 0.22, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. 

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Edwards was arrested on suspicion of DWI. Two hours later an additional breath test registered a 0.21 blood-alcohol content. 

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Edwards was placed on administrative leave Sunday, with a spokesperson from the fire department saying city officials "takes these things very seriously." 

Edwards has been charged with two counts of third-degree DWI and is due in court April 11. 

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