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Associated Press, Published January 21 2010

Minnesota high court affirms unusual DWI conviction

ST. PAUL (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court says being drunk and asleep at the wheel can be enough for a drunken driving conviction, even when not driving.

The state's highest court on Thursday affirmed the conviction of a Crookston man who was found sleeping in his parked car with the keys on the console and his door open in 2007. Police found no evidence Daryl Fleck had been recently driving.

At issue was whether Fleck was in "physical control of a motor vehicle" as the law requires.

The justices ruled that he was, based on the "totality of the circumstances." They said he was in a position to make his vehicle a "source of danger" without much difficulty.

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On the Net:

The court's opinion is at: http://www.mncourts.gov/opinions/sc/current/OPA080072-0121.pdf

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.