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Assistant DA arrested for DWI

An assistant district attorney for St. Croix County who lives in River Falls was picked up in that city by local police last Thursday night for drunk driving.

Dennis W. Erickson, 58, 510 Foster St., was driving south on River Falls' North Main Street around 9:30 p.m. when another motorist phoned in to complain about a swerving driver.

For some reason Erickson turned into the public library parking lot and was maneuvering between parked cars when a patrol officer arrived.

In the official report, the officer described Erickson as "staggering" and having "very poor balance" during various field tests that help determine alcohol use.

"On more than one occasion, I leaned over to possibly catch Dennis as I was afraid of him falling," the officer reported.

The officer said Erickson wanted to continue the tests, such as the one-legged stand and walk-and-turn, but was not able to complete them all.

Erickson was brought to the police station and processed. An Intoximeter machine allegedly recorded his blood-alcohol level at 0.23.

During his arrest, police said Erickson was cooperative and behaved in a professional manner.

He was given a $747.50 fine and finally released to the care of his wife at 11 p.m. He is scheduled to appear at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, in River Falls Municipal Court.

On Tuesday Eric Johnson, St. Croix County district attorney, was unavailable for comment about this incident.