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Albert Lea area man charged with DWI driving golf cart

By Tim Ruzek

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

Milton Paulsen Jr. was trying to drive his golf cart Saturday night to a power source to charge its battery at a Mower County campground.

However, Paulsen believed he perhaps pushed the wrong pedal or had the cart in the forward gear instead of reverse, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Mower District Court. Paulsen, of rural Albert Lea, allegedly lost control of the cart as it drove over a deck next to his RV and rammed a 61-year-old woman into a pond, pinning her under water.

Paulsen, who told police he held the woman’s face out of the water until bystanders moved the cart, allegedly was impaired by alcohol during the incident, admitting to deputies he had been drinking throughout the day since 11 a.m., the complaint says.

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Prosecutors have charged Paulsen with one felony count of criminal vehicular operation causing substantial bodily harm — the woman broke her right ankle in the incident — and a lesser count of fourth-degree driving while impaired for the incident.

The complaint summons Paulsen to appear Aug. 6 in court for his first hearing.

According to the complaint, deputies responded about 10:45 p.m. to Jellystone Park, formerly Beaver Trails Campground, in Marshall Township for a drunk person who drove a golf cart into a pond.

Authorities found the 61-year-old woman lying on her back at the scene, with two nurses tending to her injuries, including a swollen ankle that appeared broken.

The Grand Meadow ambulance took the woman to Austin Medical Center.

Paulsen, who declined medical attention, told deputies he believed the cart traveled about 30 feet before striking the woman and stopping in the pond, the complaint says.

Deputies smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Paulsen, who allegedly had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was using the walls of an RV and a table to balance himself while speaking with them.

Shortly after midnight at the Law Enforcement Center, Paulsen tested at a 0.14 blood-alcohol level, which is above the 0.08 legal limit.

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