A 41-year-old Andover woman was charged today (Nov. 20) in Anoka County District Court for allegedly driving drunk while a child was in her vehicle.
Tonia Rae Dockter, 17629 Thrush St. N.W., was charged with second-degree and third-degree driving while impaired (DWI) and endangerment of a child. All three charges are gross misdemeanors.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the area of County Road 9 (Lake George Boulevard) and 184th Lane N.W. in Oak Grove the afternoon of Nov. 17 on a report of a vehicle crash.
Witnesses told police that the 2012 Toyota that Dockter was driving was weaving and had gone into the ditch twice before crashing and catching fire, according to the complaint.
The witnesses who were following Dockter and went to her aid allegedly smelled alcohol on her as they pulled her out of the vehicle. An eight-year-old boy in the car was able to escape the burning vehicle on his own, witnesses told police.
According to the complaint, police and emergency personnel also smelled alcohol on Dockter and noticed she had bloodshot and watery eyes. She allegedly admitted that she had a few drinks and was on her way to pick up her other child in St. Francis.
The father of the boy picked up his son. Due to her apparent intoxication and concern that she was injured, Dockter was transported to Mercy Hospital where her blood was drawn for a toxicology test, according to the complaint.
At one point, Dockter allegedly said, “Why do I keep drinking?”
According to the complaint, Dockter was convicted of DWI in 2011.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]