ANOKA, Minn. (WCCO) – A 41-year-old Andover woman is accused of drunk driving and crashing her car into a ditch with her 8-year-old daughter inside, according to charges filed Tuesday in Anoka County Court.
Tonia Rae Dockter was charged with third-degree driving while impaired, second-degree driving while impaired and endangerment of a child in connection with the incident, which happened Saturday. According to the charges, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash Saturday afternoon near County Road 9 and 184th Lane NW in Oak Grove.
Authorities learned while responding to the crash that the car had been weaving prior to the accident, went into the ditch twice and caught fire after the crash. Witnesses who saw the crash rushed to the car and pulled Dockter out, according to the complaint.
The witnesses told police an 8-year-old girl was in the car when it crashed and she was able to get out on her own. Witnesses and police both could smell alcohol on Dockter as she got out of the car. She told police she was on the way to pick up her child in St. Francis and said she had a few drinks earlier in the day, the complaint states.
Police called the 8-year-old’s father and had him come get the girl. Dockter was transported to Mercy Hospital and submitted to a blood test. Authorities said she was asking herself out loud “Why do I keep drinking?” according to the complaint.
According to court records, Dockter has a 2011 conviction for DWI on her record. If convicted on all charges, she faces up to three years in prison and $9,000 in fines.