LINO LAKES, Minn. (WCCO) – A drunk driving arrest in the north metro is more shocking when you learn the criminal history of the woman behind the wheel.

Elizabeth Renee Jacobson got a DUI at a bar in Lino Lakes last month. According to charging documents, she drove there intoxicated with her 10-year-old daughter in the car. More than 11 years ago, she hit and killed someone while driving drunk.

“The one thing about my mother with her grandchildren is she absolutely adored them,” Tom Ditlefsen said.

Those memories are what he holds most fondly about his mother Maggie Lopez, but the most difficult memory never fades.

“That comes up every year. It’s right at the beginning of the year,” he said.

Maggie Lopez (credit: CBS)

On New Year’s Eve in 2007, Maggie spent the festive night riding along with her husband, Deputy Joe Lopez, as he patrolled Ramsey County. Around 3:30 a.m., a driver going the wrong way on Highway 10 hit them head-on, killing Maggie.

The driver, Jacobson, then named Elizabeth Rhodes, had been drinking and would later serve nearly five years in prison for Maggie’s death.

“I personally don’t, wouldn’t want to see what happened to our family happen to anybody else,” Ditlefsen said.

He says he was shocked about Jacobson’s recent DUI.

“The immediate feeling was kind of ‘wow,'” he said.

Court documents state an employee at Trappers Bar and Grill in Lino Lakes called police May 29 after Jacobson drove there intoxicated with her 10-year-old daughter. Jacobson registered a blood alcohol content of 0.208 on a handheld breathalyzer at the bar.

When an officer arrived to question her, she admitted to having at least five drinks before picking up her daughter. She was arrested after refusing to take the officer’s breathalyzer test. Hours later at the police department, authorities say Jacobson took a breath test and registered 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit.

“What I would have hoped is that for her sake and for our sake that her name would have never come up again related to this type of a topic,” Ditlefsen said. “I don’t think that anybody would wish that for her.”

Ditlefsen says her arrest could serve as a wakeup call, something he hoped Jacobson was on the path toward more than a decade ago when her choice to get behind the wheel changed his family forever.

“The best thing we could hope for is that somehow she gets healthy,” he said.

Jacobson was released Monday from Anoka County Jail.

Jeff Wagner

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