Skip to main content

New Brighton mayor charged with drunken-driving

Mayor Valerie Johnson was pulled over for speeding and expired tabs.

The mayor of New Brighton attended a city council meeting on Tuesday night and apologized for her drunk-driving arrest over the weekend. 

"On Saturday night, I was arrested for driving under the influence, with a blood alcohol content of 0.17," Mayor Valerie Johnson said. "There is no question that I was reckless and made a significant error in judgment that night, potentially risking the safety of others and myself. 

"I am ready to accept the consequences of my actions, and I intend to take steps to ensure that I never make this mistake again."

According to a criminal complaint, Johnson has been charged with third-degree DWI after being arrested around 2 a.m. Sunday. She was pulled over on County Road E and Old Highway 8 New Brighton for driving 54 in a 40 mph zone and her November 2018 license tabs were expired. 

The arresting officers noted that Johnson smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech. A preliminary breath test indicated a 0.17 alcohol content, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Johnson was elected mayor in 2016 and re-elected to a second term last November. Her current term expires Dec. 31, 2020. 

Johnson finished her apology during the city council meeting with the following: 

"I would like to apologize to members of the City Council, our great staff here with the City of New Brighton and the residents of this wonderful community. As Mayor, I hold myself to a high standard of conduct, and I failed to meet that standard on Saturday night. People have a right to be disappointed in my behavior, just as I am, but I hope we can continue to work together and achieve our hopes for the City of New Brighton.

After this meeting adjourns, I will stay around and answer any questions that anyone in attendance has for me. I will also inform members of the Council and city residents once I determine my next steps in addressing my behavior.

For those of you with business before the Council tonight, I apologize for any distraction my announcement will cause – you deserve to have your voices heard."

New Brighton City Council meetings are all available to the public to review and watch back right here

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 9.05.52 AM

Able Seedhouse + Brewery in NE Minneapolis to close

The brewery and its onsite food truck, Animales Burger Co., will both be open for their last day on Saturday.

Lake Minnetonka

Police investigate spate of car break-ins on south Lake Minnetonka shore

The South Lake Minnetonka Police Department received reports that cars in Shorewood and Excelsior were broken into Tuesday morning.


1 dead, 3 injured in crash involving tractor and SUV

The man driving the tractor was killed in the crash.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.


Gallery: Sprawling estate near Superior National Forest listed for $2.9M

The property has been in the same family for over 60 years.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.


Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.


Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.


Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.


Michael Maguire

Eagan mayor charged with DWI after getting stuck in snowbank

The four-term mayor was arrested for DWI on Jan. 11.

police lights

Long standoff with armed subject ends Thursday in New Brighton

The situation quickly escalated Wednesday night.

William C. Davidson Jr

Minnesota man charged in Hudson stabbing that killed New Brighton man

Cain Solheim was one of the three people stabbed in downtown Hudson early Sunday morning.

troop 106 trailer 1 (1)

Seen this trailer? It was stolen from Boy Scout Troop in New Brighton

The New Brighton Department of Public Safety has called for its return.

State Patrol: Alcohol a factor in fatal Arden Hills crash

A 34-year-old New Brighton man died in the crash.

Elizabeth Renee Jacobson

Drunk driver who killed deputy's wife is charged with 2 more DWIs

The 34-year-old woman was arrested following a pursuit on June 18.