Driver charged with DWIDriver told police he was using designer drug
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
A Rochester man who told police he had been using the designer drug bath salts faces a series of criminal charges after he was spotted driving erratically in the Rosemount area.
A Dakota County Sheriff’s deputy stopped 47-year-old Michael Allan Andrist at around 10:30 p.m. after dispatchers received reports of a pick-up that was weaving on Highway 52 near 160th Street. Callers reported the truck was driving about 70 miles per hour on the shoulder and repeatedly driving into the ditch.
A deputy waited for the truck at the intersection of Highway 52 and 210th Street. When the truck appeared it had “large amounts of grass” hanging from the front bumper and undercarriage, according to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney’s office. While the deputy watched, the truck turned west on 210th Street, then stopped, backed up and continued south on the shoulder of Highway 52. The deputy turned on his lights and siren, but the driver, later identified as Andrist, continued to drive for another mile and a half before stopping.
According to the complaint, Andrist was jittery and excited, but his mental state was slow and confused. He was hard to understand but told the deputy he had been helping a friend with a construction project.
Andrist was not wearing shoes, and there were no shoes in the truck. He failed field sobriety tests but a preliminary breath test did not show any evidence of alcohol.
The deputy found a syringe in Andrist’s pocket and an evaluation by a Farmington police officer certified as a drug recognition expert suggested he was under the influence of a simulant.
According to the complaint, Andrist told police he had been using bath salts because they had the same effect as methamphetamine but without the high cost. A blood sample tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, amphetamine and a metabolite of cocaine.
Andrist has 10 prior DWI convictions. This time around he faces four felony charges for driving while impaired, each of which has a potential sentence of between three and seven years and a potential fine of up to $14,000. A felony charge of fleeing a police officer has a maximum sentence of three years and a day and a maximum fine of $5,000.