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Odd Excuse Doesn’t Stop DUI Charge

A South Dakota man was convicted of drunk driving last week on a charge of drunk driving in Pennigton County.

According to official reports, Russel Schmitz, 48, tossed his keys under the deck of a nearby Box Elder home after he was pulled over. He then told deputies on scene that vehicle he was accused of driving while intoxicated “just showed up at the same time he did and nobody drove it.” It was Schmitz’s sixth DUI charge.

The numbers show that a great number of people in South Dakota who are convicted of drunk driving end up doing it again.

In Schmitz’s case, he had gone to visit a woman who he had been living with just days prior. He entered the house, retrieved personal belongings and then argued with the woman. It was then that she called police.

Upon responding to the scene, police reported that Schmitz had slurred speech and a smell of alcohol about his person. Schmitz told officers he had walked to the residence and had no idea how the car had gotten there. More than one witness told police that Schmitz had indeed drove the car.

A breathalyzer taken on scene registered 0.244.

Even though the defense attempted to discredit one of the witnesses, a child, they were unsuccessful. Schmitz was found guilty of drunk driving and will be sentenced in the coming months. Before sentencing, Schmitz’s previous record will be considered. He is facing up to 10 years in prison for his latest conviction.

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