Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- A traffic stop for a wrong way driver has led to DWI charges being filed against a Rochester man for the third time in eight years. 

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The criminal complaint filed in Olmsted County Court Monday says the traffic stop happened along Civic Center Dr. shortly after 8:30 p.m. on the night of August 11. A Rochester Police Officer spotted the suspect vehicle near the four-lane road’s intersection with 1st Ave. Northwest. 

The charges say the vehicle was traveling west in the eastbound lanes, which forced the officer to slow to a near stop to avoid a head-on collision despite the squad vehicle’s emergency lights and sirens being activated. The suspect vehicle then hopped the median to return to the westbound lanes and was stopped near the intersection with 4th Ave. Northwest. 

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Upon approaching the vehicle the officer reported the odor of an alcoholic beverage and found a two-thirds full open wine bottle in the front passenger seat. The driver, identified as 76-year-old Leonel Lozano Garcia, also showed signs of impairment and said he had consumed three beers before the traffic stop, the complaint says. 

Gacia complaint. Olmsted County Court
Gacia complaint. Olmsted County Court
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A preliminary breath test at the scene of the traffic stop yielded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.275, which is more than three times higher than the legal limit. A second breath test, conducted at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, measured Garcia’s blood alcohol concentration at 0.26, according to the charges. 

Garcia complaint. Olmsted County Court
Garcia complaint. Olmsted County Court
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Garcia is facing two gross misdemeanor counts of second-degree DWI and a misdemeanor careless driving charge. He was released without bail but with conditions following his arraignment hearing Monday morning. 

Court records indicate Garcia has two prior misdemeanor DWI convictions. He was convicted of DWI in Olmsted County in 2015 and convicted of DWI in Fillmore County in 2020.

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