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Alleged MN drunken driver involved in chase claims, 'Jerry Springer was driving’

BENSON, Minn.  -- An alleged drunken driver who was involved in a chase with police in the western Minnesota town of Benson and crashed into a pickup and a home told police he wasn’t driving, “Jerry Springer was driving.”

It took just four minutes for Bernard Michael Drivdahl, 59, of Benson to drive through several front yards, crash into a parked pickup that then slammed into a home, and then strike another home with his own vehicle, said court documents.

Drivdahl, 59, was pinned beneath the steering wheel of his vehicle, still buckled into the driver’s seat when he hit the last house, the complaint said.

When the Benson police officer involved in the chase approached the vehicle, Drivdahl allegedly stated, “I wasn’t driving. Jerry Springer was driving.”

Drivdahl was later extracted from the vehicle.

He is now facing charges in Swift County District Court and is in jail on a $30,000 bail for felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation, two gross misdemeanor counts for driving while impaired and misdemeanor reckless driving.

The incident on May 29 started when the officer suspected Drivdahl of driving drunk. The chase reached a speed of up to 70 mph in town, said the complaint

When the vehicle came to rest after the damage, it was still in drive, spinning its tires. The impact with a home broke a gas line, said the complaint.

Drivdahl was transported by helicopter to the St. Cloud Hospital after being extracted from the vehicle. Test results from a blood draw there showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.13 percent, according to the criminal complaint.

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