A lit cigarette, reportedly tossed from a passenger’s side window, has led to drunken driving charges against Faribault’s mayor, Kevin Voracek.
Voracek, 42, was initially cited following an April 7 traffic stop, but late last month he was formally charged with three counts of fourth-degree driving while impaired.
According to court records, a Faribault police officer noticed the cigarette being throw out the car window, then “observed the vehicle drifting within the lane and toward the curb and back to the center line” as it headed west from downtown.
Voracek reportedly told the officer that he had had two beers, the last one 20 minutes prior. He later said he had had six beers within a three- to four-hour period. After administering several sobriety tests, the officer reportedly had concerns that Voracek was impaired, and called a state trooper to repeat the tests, an effort to ensure there was no conflict or favoritism due to Voracek’s position as the city’s mayor.
The trooper administered several sobriety tests to Voracek. During the one-leg stand test, the trooper reportedly observed the following signs of impairment: swaying while balancing, using arms to balance and putting his foot down multiple times. A preliminary breath tested showed a blood alcohol content of .092, according to court records.
Voracek was arrested and taken to the Rice County Jail. A second breath test reportedly registered a blood alcohol content of .08.
The jail is not booking individuals facing misdemeanor charges due to COVID-19, so Voracek was cited and released.
“This is a personal issue and I’ve been advised by my attorney not to make any comment,” Voracek said Friday afternoon.
Voracek was convicted of misdemeanor driving while impaired in January 2008. He pleaded guilty and was given a stayed sentence of 90 days in jail and two years probation. Court records show he was also required to seek chemical dependency evaluation/treatment, attend a DWI clinic for first-time offenders and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Impact Panel.
When asked, the mayor said the two incidents are “completely unrelated.”
Voracek was first elected to a seat on the Faribault City Council in 2008. He began his tenure as mayor in 2017. He was elected to a second term last November when he ran unopposed.
Voracek’s next court date is June 14.