A Minnesota mother who was convicted of driving under the influence with her child in the car just last year is now facing charges accusing her of the same offense after a crash in Oak Grove.
Anoka County prosecutors charged 41-year-old Tonia Rae Dockter, of Andover, with one count each of second- and third-degree driving while impaired with aggravating factors and one count of child endangerment.
According to the criminal complaint, dispatchers received emergency calls about a crash near County Road 9 and 184th Lane Northwest in Oak Grove on Saturday afternoon. Callers said the car had been weaving and went into the ditch twice before it crashed and burst into flames.
Witnesses at the scene rushed to help the victims, and needed to pull Dockter from the 2012 Toyota; however, her 8-year-old son was able to escape the burning car on his own.
Those Good Samaritans told police they smelled alcohol on Dockter, and officers and emergency responders at the scene confirmed she also had bloodshot, watery eyes.
Police say Dockter told them she was on her way to pick up her other child in St. Francis at the time of the crash and admitted to having a few drinks earlier in the day.
Emergency medical personnel took Dockter to Mercy Hospital out of concern for her injuries and apparent level of intoxication. At the hospital, officials say Dockter submitted to a blood test and asked herself aloud, "Why do I keep drinking?"
In 2011, Dockter was convicted for DWI with her child in the car. If convicted in this case, she faces a maximum penalty of three years behind bars and fines of up to $9,000.
Dockter, who works as the chief of nutrition at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis, was released from custody over the lunch hour on Tuesday.