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Suspected drunk driver hits tree in Menahga

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Three charges are pending against a Menahga man who allegedly hit a tree while intoxicated.

On June 14 around midnight, an officer received a call from dispatch about a collision of a vehicle with a tree in Menahga, court records said. The caller said she heard the loud crash of a vehicle hitting a tree and the voice of an individual saying, "I'm really drunk," from outside a nearby residence.

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When officers arrived at the location, the vehicle was not where reported. Authorities finally found the suspected vehicle behind the residence. According to court documents, Bryant James Rittmiller, 22, of Menahga, was standing next to the driver's side door, and as an officer approached him, Rittmiller gave himself up.

A strong odor of alcohol was apparent on Rittmiller, court records said. Rittmiller's passenger was checked over, and showed no signs of injury. Rittmiller took several sobriety tests, failing each one. Court records state Rittmiller would not submit to a PBT, and was placed under arrest for DWI.

As officers were securing the scene for a tow truck, a half full 1.75 liter bottle of Karkov Vodka was observed on the passenger side floor.

According to court documents, after being transported to Wadena County Jail, Rittmiller continued to refuse a breathalyzer and attempted to contact an attorney.

Rittmiller faces one gross misdemeanor charge of third degree DWI and test refusal, and two misdemeanors of fourth degree DWI and possession of an open bottle. His initial appearance is set for July 2.

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