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Drunken driver who hurt cop arrested again | Duluth News Tribune

Drunken driver who hurt cop arrested again
MARK STODGHILL mstodghill@duluthnews.com 

   When Duane Klynn Porter was arrested by Proctor police on suspicion of driving drunk he was given the opportunity to call a lawyer.

   Police said that instead of calling a lawyer, Porter called someone and talked about buying more beer.

   After taking a preliminary breath test on Jan. 17, which revealed that he had imbibed more than three times the legal limit of alcohol to drive, police said that Porter became argumentative and said: “You played your game and I’ll play mine and I’ll win. Remember when I hit your partner?”

   Police believe Porter, 27, of Bemidji was referring to a March 14, 2011, crash in Duluth in which he was driving with more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his body. He ran his minivan through a red light and collided with a car being driven by Duluth police Officer Don Boso, seriously injuring the man who was days away from retirement after a 20-year career on the local force.

   When a crash investigator asked Porter back in 2011 how much he had to drink before running into Boso, he responded: “Not enough.”

   Despite being convicted of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm to Boso, driving while impaired and driving after suspension, Porter received a probationary sentence under state sentencing guidelines.

   And under state sentencing guidelines he again faces a probationary sentence if convicted of drunken driving in his most recent incident. But St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said his office is filing a notice with the court that it will seek a departure from sentencing guidelines and ask that, if convicted, Porter be sentenced to 42 months in prison, instead of receiving the presumptive probationary sentence.

   Rubin said the record indicates that Porter is not amenable to probation, and the prison sentence is warranted.

   The retired police officer that the defendant seriously injured two years ago agrees with Rubin. Boso, the Duluth Police Department’s 2006 Investigator of the Year, suffered a concussion, internal bleeding of the brain, cuts near both eyes and bruising of two internal organs when Porter crashed his vehicle into his.

   Boso, 52, now teaches at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. He was reached by phone Thursday. “I still have some issues with my neck every now and then, but other than that I’ve pretty well recovered,” he said. “I still have the scars to look at but …”

   Boso was angry to hear that Porter was allegedly again putting other people’s lives in danger on the highways. “It makes me sick to hear,” Boso said. “I don’t understand.”

   When reminded that Porter had told crash investigators in 2011 that he had started drinking when he was 11 years old, Boso was unforgiving.

   “There’s a lot of people who grew up in hard households and still grew up to be successful,” he said. “I don’t have any sympathy for him in that case. I think it’s ridiculous. This guy is going to kill somebody.”

   After being convicted in the Boso case, Porter spent a year at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center, where he was ordered to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and treatment, and follow any recommendations. An ArrowheadRegional Corrections probation officer found that Porter violated his probation by entering an establishment where alcohol was its main source of income and by drinking alcohol. Judge Sally Tarnowski revoked Porter’s probation on March 27 and he was sent to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

   Rubin said Porter was released from the St. Cloud prison on supervised release/parole on April 5, but on June 2 he absconded from reporting to his probation officer and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was taken into custody by a U.S. Marshall and returned to prison, from where he was released on Nov. 24.

   Fifty-four days after his prison release, Porter was arrested for driving drunk in Proctor. According to the criminal complaint, a motorist reported an erratic driver who was “all over the road.” The caller said the car was westbound on Highway 2 near Boundary Avenue about 1 a.m. on Jan. 17.

   Proctor police Officer Timothy Redfield located Porter’s vehicle pulled to the side of the road. He approached the vehicle and smelled alcohol. His report said that Porter’s speech was slurred and he admitted to drinking. He didn’t have a driver’s license, which has been revoked.

   The preliminary breath test indicated Porter had blood-alcohol content of 0.25 percent. When the same test was administered after Porter’s crash with Boso, his B.A.C. was 0.28 percent. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Minnesota with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 and above.

   According to court records, Porter was convicted in 2004 of hit and run and careless driving; in 2005, he was twice convicted of underage drinking and driving, driving without a license and possessing stolen property; and in 2006, he was convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle, underage consumption, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving while intoxicated and having an open bottle in a vehicle. He was convicted of driving after revocation in both 2009 and 2010.

   Porter’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 6.

Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

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