Reports of wrong-way driver on I-90 lead to man's 13th DWI arrest


Perhaps there was one bit of luck in Alexander Sazonov's 13th drunken driving arrest: no one got hurt.

The Minnesota State Patrol described on its Facebook page Wednesday how Sazonov, a 50-year-old Sioux Falls man, was arrested in southwestern Minnesota last week.

It started with calls from drivers reporting a white van was heading the wrong way on I-90 near Worthington.

As a trooper drove toward the area from Luverne, the radio calls stopped coming in, leading the officer to suspect the wayward driver had straightened things out.

But when he spotted a white van weaving, he pulled it over – and noticed empty cans in a bucket between the front seats, and a case of beer on the passenger side floorboards.

Sazonov acknowledged he'd had a few beers, the patrol says. After a field sobriety test, the trooper brought Sazonov in to the station, where a breath test showed his blood alcohol content to be 0.24, which is three times the legal limit to drive.

Sazonov is now charged with second-degree DWI. And he's familiar with the process.

The State Patrol says he has 12 previous drunk driving convictions, the earliest in 1998 and the most recent in 2013.

Minnesota drunk driving stats

The state's Office of Traffic Safety releases an annual report on impaired driving in Minnesota.

The most recent one says drunken driving deaths have declined 25 percent over five years, but there were still 88 deaths attributed to drunk drivers in 2014.

In 31 percent of the fatal crashes in the state that year alcohol was involved, and in 24 percent a driver was drunk, the report says.

One out of every seven licensed Minnesota drivers has at least one DWI on their record.

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