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Very drunk driver leads trooper on chase

It took some fancy driving for a state trooper to pull over a driver from Oakdale who fled while driving drunk on the freeway.

Clocked going 70 mph on Interstate 94 through Woodbury while evading the Minnesota State Patrol, Thomas Eugene Manning pleaded guilty to felony fleeing a police officer and gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI. The 42-year-old's DWI conviction was his second in two years.

His blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit.

According to the complaint:

Manning's tan minivan weaved in and out of lanes on I-94 on Dec. 3, 2014. As the trooper tailed him, he almost ran off the road while taking a corner on an exit ramp, then re-entered the freeway and continued to swerve within the lane.

The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but Manning sped up to 70 mph instead. On the way to Interstate 694 and Fifth Street in South St. Paul, the trooper flashed his emergency lights and even pulled alongside the van to get Manning's attention. Manning stared straight ahead and later almost rear ended a vehicle while trying to exit in South St. Paul. That's where the trooper performed a pit maneuver, stopped the vehicle and apprehended the suspect.

Manning, crying and yelling that he was an alcoholic who needed help, boarded an ambulance and took a preliminary breath test for medical reasons. His BAC was 0.239. 

Manning was recently sentenced for fleeing a police officer, but his one-year-one-day prison sentence was stayed for five years, pending compliance with probation. He was sentenced to 270 days in jail, with 47 days credit for time served.