Ten years after he was convicted of killing 3 brothers in an alcohol-related crash, a Farmington, Minn. man has been arrested and charged with another DWI.
Boe Barlage, 33, was sentenced in May 2005 to 8 years in prison for the Oct. 2004 crash that killed brothers Justin, Jacob and Matthew Backstrom. According to prosecutors in that case, Barlage was on a cell phone and under the influence of between 10 and 15 alcoholic beverages at the time of the deadly crash. He was supposed to speak at a drunk driving impact panel at the Eagan Community Center on Monday night, but he canceled after his arrest.
Barlage was arrested for DWI on Thursday, May 14 in Lakeville, Minn. after another driver called 911 to report a car driving "all over the road on Cedar Avenue."
A Lakeville officer found the Mercury Sable in a gas station parking lot at Lakeville Blvd and Glade Ave. When the car drove away from the gas station, the officer made a traffic stop and found Barlage behind the wheel.
Gas station hot dogs 'overpowering'
According to the charges, Barlage had slurred speech and his breath smelled like alcohol, but he had just purchased two hot dogs from the gas station and "the odor of the hot dogs was overpowering."
A breath test administered later that evening showed an alcohol concentration of 0.19.
The power of addiction
When Nathan and Connie Backstrom lost their sons Matthew, Jacob and Justin 10 years ago, they said they weren't angry at the drunk driver who killed them, but you can imagine their surprise when he was picked up for DWI yet again.
"We were very saddened and disappointed when we got the news that the young man who killed our sons had again been arrested for DWI," Connie Backstrom said. "His alcohol level was even higher than when the boys were killed. We're grateful no one else was injured or killed this time, but they very easily could have been."
Back in 2004, Barlage was drunk and on his cell phone when he slammed into the Backstrom brothers who were on their way home from running an errand at Wal-Mart. Prosecutors said Barlage served about 6 years in prison and was ordered to go through treatment, but they added his recent arrest highlights the power of alcohol addiction.
"We hope the story he has been given will have a new chapter in the coming days and we hope that he rethinks what's important in life," Nathan Backstrom said.
Barlage is still on probation for the Backstrom brothers' deaths, which means he could get prison time for violating his probation on top of any time he gets for the new charges.