DFL lawmaker pleads guilty to driving drunk

Xiong will be placed on supervised probation for one year and his 90-day jail sentence was stayed.

Rep. Tou Xiong/Anoka County Jail

A Minnesota Democrat pleaded guilty to driving drunk and is now on probation for one year.

Rep. Tou Xiong, DFL-Maplewood, was arrested in January for drunk driving and booked into the Anoka County Jail for one night, jail records show.

The DFL representative was pulled over after leaving a community gathering, according to a statement he later released.

Xiong was charged on two counts — one count of fourth-degree driving while impaired and one count of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over the limit of 0.08.

Two hours after being pulled over, Xiong’s blood alcohol content was 0.11, according to court records.

Xiong, who is in his second term in the Minnesota House and represents District 53A, pleaded guilty to the second count only, court records show.

An Anoka County judge on Tuesday granted Xiong the plea deal, dismissing the charge of fourth-degree driving under the influence. Xiong will be placed on supervised probation for one year and his 90-day jail sentence was stayed. He will pay $288 in fines and Anoka County Community Corrections will supervise his probation.

Xiong was also required to complete chemical assessments and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel, which he completed, according to court records.

Xiong’s arrest came shortly after the drunk driving arrest of Democratic Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson in December of last year.

Hutchinson totaled his squad car outside of Alexandria while driving drunk at 120 miles per hour. He will not be running for reelection.

While Hutchinson publicly apologized quickly for his actions, Xiong waited a week before releasing a statement to comment on the charges.

Xiong said he made a “terrible mistake” and has “a lot of work to do.”

“My actions are inexcusable and I sincerely apologize,” Xiong’s statement reads. “I have a lot of work to do in the coming days, weeks and months to earn back the trust of my constituents and people I’ve let down, and that will be my focus going forward.”