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Golden Valley Man Charged with Felony DWI After Refusing Breath Test

Police say Maceo Julius Phillips, currently on probation for first-degree DWI, refused to submit to a breath test after he was arrested in Crystal.

A Golden Valley man on probation for an earlier drunken-driving conviction has been charged with felony DWI after police say he refused to submit to a breath test when he was arrested.

Maceo Julius Phillips, 32, is charged with first-degree DWI/refusal to submit to a chemical test, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. The charge has a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in prison.

A Crystal police officer on patrol at about 8 p.m. Nov. 11 spotted a car with only one working headlight, according to the criminal complaint, signed by Crystal Police Lt. Dave Oyaas.

The officer clocked the car going 45 mph in a 35 mph zone, and began pursuing the vehicle as it turned onto 27th Avenue North, crossing the center line into oncoming traffic, the complaint charges.

The officer stopped the car and identified the driver as Phillips, whose eyes were red and watery and whose speech was slurred, according to the complaint. He told the officer that he had drunk four or five beers earlier; he submitted to preliminary breath tests, registering a blood-alcohol content of .18 percent and .17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

Phillips was arrested and taken to the Crystal police station, where he asked to contact an attorney. After almost a half-hour, Phillips told the officer that he couldn’t reach an attorney, and that he was finished trying.

When the officer asked him to take another breath test, Phillips asked for more time to call an attorney. The officer reminded him that he had stopped trying to reach one, and that he would have to decide whether to submit to the test.

The officer asked Phillips four more times if he would take the test, but he refused, according to the complaint.

Phillips was convicted in 2008 of first-degree DWI and is on probation, with a 54-month stayed sentence.

He has been released from custody on a $10,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Dec. 17 in Hennepin County District Court.

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