Dakota County judge charged with two counts of driving while impaired

Michael V. Sovis, a Dakota County District Court judge and an Apple Valley resident, was arrested and charged Dec. 27 with two misdemeanor counts of third-degree driving while impaired after the Lexus SUV he was driving at about 8 p.m. Dec. 24 allegedly struck at least two cars in the 1200 block of St. Clair Avenue, according to multiple news reports.

Michael Sovis
Michael Sovis

According to the criminal complaint, Sovis, 63, was cooperative with officers when they arrived and found his vehicle in a snowbank partially off the road with Sovis inside with his wife – both were uninjured and no one else was injured, the Pioneer Press reported.

The complaint said Sovis “had great difficulty” completing field sobriety tests and police stopped the tests out of concern for Sovis’ safety.

Sovis, who reportedly needed help standing, told police he had six vodka drinks. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent, according to court documents cited by the Pioneer Press. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Sovis allegedly hit a parked car before making a U-turn, striking another parked car and accelerating into a snow bank, according to witnesses cited by the Pioneer Press.

He was released Christmas morning after posting $12,000 bond, according to jail records cited by the Pioneer Press.

Sovis was appointed to the Dakota County District Court in 1998 by Gov. Rudy Perpich and won elections in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. His current term expires in January 2015, according to Minnesota Courts.