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Parkston man found passed out behind wheel, charged with DUI at 4 times legal limit

A breathalyzer test administered at the Davison County Jail returned a blood alcohol concentration of .329%, over four times the legal limit.

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The Mitchell Police Division is a part of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety. (Hunter Dunteman / Republic)
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MITCHELL — A Parkston man is facing drug and alcohol charges after police found him passed out in a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration over four times the legal driving limit.

Alexander Heisinger, 29, of Parkston, was charged with driving under the influence, open container violation, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia as a result of the incident.

Shortly after 7 p.m. on March 31, police in Mitchell were called to an alley near the 500 block of East 7th Avenue for a report of a male who was passed out in the driver's seat of a white Chevrolet van.

Upon arrival, authorities made contact with Heisinger who appeared to be sleeping behind the wheel. Officers located the vehicle's keys in the ignition and detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from the vehicle.

After waking Heisinger up, officers removed him from the vehicle so he could be checked by Mitchell EMS. Paramedics cleared him from the scene and turned him back over to officers.

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While observing Heisinger throughout their interaction, one officer wrote in an affidavit that Heisinger had stumbled while exiting the vehicle and slightly staggered as he walked. The officer noted that he could smell alcohol on Heisinger's person and had bloodshot and watery eyes.

Court documents say Heisinger consented to field sobriety tests, but officers say he performed them "poorly."

When police told Heisinger they had probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle for open containers, he allegedly admitted to havin a small amount of marijuana inside the center console of the vehicle. Police say they located a bag in the console with less than two ounces of marijuana in it — though court documents do not give a specific amount.

From their search, officers were also able to locate a pipe and several open bottles of vodka.

Heisinger was placed under arrest and transported to the Davison County Jail, where a breathalyzer administered during the booking process registered a blood alcohol content of .329%, over four times the legal driving limit.

If convicted on all counts, Heisinger could face up to two years and two months in prison plus be ordered to pay as much as $5,000 in fines. He's due to appear in a Davison County courtroom on April 7 for a status hearing.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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