RICE – Less than a week after being sworn in, Rice Mayor Erik Bonde was arrested for driving under the influence and open bottle.
    Bonde was arrested Jan. 10 on misdemeanor charges of fourth degree DUI and possession of open bottle as he was preparing to operate a school bus in Rice. 
    In Minnesota, a fourth degree DUI offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine, with no mandatory minimum sentence. Bonde was issued a citation, held in custody until sober and will appear in court. 
    According to a release from the Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck, the Rice Police Department learned Bonde, 46, had a driver’s license that was suspended. An officer made contact at around 1:30 p.m., advising Bonde of the status of his license and that he could not drive until his license was reinstated. 
    Later, at 3:05 p.m., Rice Police learned Bonde had driven a van-sized school bus to the Rice Elementary and was seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Due to the conflict of interest, Benton County deputies assisted Rice Police and approached the bus and Bonde, reminding Bonde that his license was still suspended. While speaking with Bonde, officers observed signs indicating Bonde was intoxicated. 
    Bonde was requested to submit to a preliminary breath test, which indicated Bonde’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit for driving. Deputies also located a container in Bonde’s possession which contained an alcoholic beverage. 
    Bonde was arrested and transported to the Benton County Jail. 
    No students were in the bus while Bonde was operating the vehicle. 
    Bonde was sworn in as Rice Mayor Jan. 7. 

Rice mayor arrested for DUI, open bottle

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