Ramsey County judge convicted of DWI on New Year's

Photo Courtesy: Ramsey County Jail

A Ramsey County District Court judge is finding himself on the other side of the law after pleading guilty to driving under the influence on New Year's Day.

Tuesday, 43-year-old Gurdip Singh Atwal was convicted of third degree DWI after blowing more than twice the legal limit. Other charges, such as careless driving and failing to stop, were dismissed. This is Atwal's second DWI in Minnesota. He was previously charged in 2006.

Atwal, also known as G. Tony Atwal, is a judge for Ramsey County's second judicial district. Governor Dayton appointed him in 2016.

According to the criminal complaint, at 12:45 a.m. a police officer saw Atwal driving about 40 mph in a 30 mph zone near Kellogg Boulevard and John Ireland Boulevard in St. Paul. When the officer started following the vehicle, he saw Atwal fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

During the traffic stop, the officer noticed Atwal's eyes were "bloodshot and glassy", his speech was "slightly slurred" and his breath had a "strong odor of alcohol". Atwal told the officer he had two glasses of wine and a gin and tonic.

After completing several field tests, the officer believed Atwal was intoxicated. About two hours later, Atwal took a took a breath test, registering a 0.17 blood alcohol concentration. The legal BAC limit in Minnesota is 0.08.

The case is being handled by the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office. According to officials, Atwal was sentenced to 20 days, which will be served through home detention/electronic monitoring. He will serve 345 days stayed for two years, during which he can't have another DWI, careless or reckless driving infractions, drive without a license or insurance, or have any another alcohol or drug-related offenses. He will also have a private chemical dependency evaluation and be fined $900.