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Cottage Grove council member could face charges after traffic stop

COTTAGE GROVE - A Cottage Grove City Council member could face charges after being stopped by police for allegedly speeding over 100 mph on Highway 61 and for suspected impaired driving.

Derrick Lehrke, 35, was arrested July 30 on suspicion of third-degree drunken driving but released after a test showed his blood-alcohol concentration was within the legal limit, according to police data.

No citation was issued, Cottage Grove Police Chief Craig Woolery said, but a prosecutor is reviewing the case.

Lehrke, who is seeking re-election this fall, said Friday that it’s a “very frustrating situation” and denied driving over 100 mph.

A Minnesota State Patrol report said Lehrke refused to perform field sobriety tests at the scene.

Lehrke said he had been at work at the Newport bar he owns with his wife and was driving home. Lehrke said it was his constitutional right not to perform field sobriety tests, and that he believes “it never helps you” to submit to the roadside tests.

Lehrke provided a breath sample at the Washington County Jail. His blood-alcohol content was 0.06; the legal driving limit is 0.08.

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