Hennepin County Sheriff David "Hutch" Hutchinson was injured after crashing a county vehicle early Wednesday, with the sheriff himself admitting he was drinking prior to the wreck.
The crash happened around 2:30 a.m. on I-94 about 5 miles east of Alexandria, the Minnesota State Patrol said Wednesday. Deputies responded to the single-vehicle rollover and found the driver, Hutchinson, suffering from non-life threatening injuries. He was taken via ambulance to Alomere Hospital.
The State Patrol said deputies "suspected impairment," so got a warrant to obtain a urine sample.
But Hutchinson, in a statement released shortly after the State Patrol's alert, admitted to drinking alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel, apologizing and calling it an "inexcusable decision."
"As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Hennepin County, I am held to a higher standard. I regret the choice I made and apologize to the citizens I serve, the staff I work with, and the friends and family who support me," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions and am prepared to accept the consequences of my poor decision."
Hutchinson added he is "relieved' nobody else was injured in the crash, and said he will "immediately address [his[ personal issues surrounding alcohol and seek the help I need" as he continues to serve as sheriff.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said Hutchinson was in Alexandria for the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association conference.
The vehicle involved belongs to Hennepin County, the State Patrol said, adding Hutchinson was the only person inside at the time of the crash.
Criminal charges are possible as the crash is being investigated as a possible DUI, pending results from the urine sample as well as a review from the Douglas County Attorney's Office, according to the State Patrol.
Hutchinson, who lives in Bloomington, was elected as Hennepin County Sheriff in November 2018.