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Forum Communications, Published September 11 2012

Carlton County attorney pleads guilty to DWI

DULUTH, Minn. - Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree driving while impaired — which was a refusal to submit to a chemical test — the most serious of seven crimes he was charged with when stopped by the State Patrol in July for driving erratically.

“It’s been a learning experience, one that I find myself on this side of the podium, rather than sitting at the (prosecutor’s) table there,’’ Pertler told Judge Heather Sweetland before being sentenced in State District Court in Duluth.

“Words can’t describe my remorse. My apologies to everybody,” Pertler said.

Pertler was arrested on the afternoon of July 17 in Duluth. A confused Pertler attempted to hide a nearly empty bottle of vodka under his car seat, according to the trooper’s report. A preliminary breath test indicated that Pertler, 48, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.234 percent, nearly three times the legal limit to drive.