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Woman whose car was found in lake pleads guilty to DWI

A brief but frantic search for victims in a lake accident last May resulted in a DWI conviction and a suspended sentence for a Park Rapids woman this week.

Julia Christen Kujawa's car was spotted May 18 in East Crooked Lake partially submerged. Nevis firefighters, on their way to an inferno, could not stop but radioed for help. Ambulance personnel and deputies saw the car and began a search for the owner and occupants.

They later located Kujawa, 20, who denied being the driver.

A man following the vehicle that night on County Road 2 said he watched the vehicle hit a mailbox on one side of the road, then veer into the lake on the other side of the road. He stopped to help Kujawa and her passenger and gave them a ride home, telling authorities he believed Kujawa was alcohol impaired.

Monday Kujawa pleaded guilty to Fourth Degree DWI.

She told Judge Robert Tiffany she is hypoglycemic and that a drop in her blood sugar was responsible for the .16 blood alcohol content in her system.

"There is no medical documentation of that," said assistant Hubbard County Attorney Erika Randall.

Kujawa received a 90-day jail sentence with 89 days suspended and credit for the day she served. She was fined $400 and will be on probation for two years.

She has previously been convicted of underage consumption.

Authorities were concerned about the May crash because one year ago, a Walker woman died when the vehicle she was driving went off the roadway in the same spot into the lake.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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