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Charges of impaired driving, fleeing officer filed

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A 47-year-old Smithland, Ky. man, John Michael Keplinger Sr., faces charges of fleeing a peace office in a motor vehicle and fourth degree driving while impaired (over. 08 within two hours) following a July 2 incident near Lillehei Avenue and 180th Street East in Marshan Township. According to the complaint, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the area on a driving complaint. The caller reported that the vehicle was driving in both lanes of traffic, was in and out of the ditch, and was hitting mailboxes.

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When a deputy arrived, he observed a truck with front-end damage driving south on Lillehei Avenue. The truck proceeded through an intersection without stopping. The deputy’s squad car had lights and siren activated. Another deputy responded and activated his lights and siren. The truck was swerving between both lanes of traffic.

The driver was identified as Keplinger and the vehicle was eventually stopped.

When a deputy came in contact with Keplinger, Keplinger’s speech was slurred and his balance was unsteady. A preliminary breath test was administered and it registered in excess of the legal limit.

Kiplinger said he had been drinking at an establishment in Hastings and said he consumed six 12-ounce beers. He also said he is on pain pills for an ongoing back problem and had taken three pills. He got lost when he was trying to get back to his hotel. He did not recall hitting anything.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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