Drunk driver crashes into stairs of Elba church

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man was arrested and facing charges after crashing a vehicle into the stairs of a church in Elba, Minn.

The driver has been identified as 27-year-old Jared Blake Hernandez of Rochester.

According to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), authorities responded to the scene around 1:53 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, but the incident happened about an hour earlier.

Hernandez was driving westbound on County Road 26 and allegedly drove through a stop sign where the road intersects with Hwy 74 and drove up on the stairs of the church.

According to WCSO, a witness identifying himself as Hernandez’s father told officials Hernandez swerved to avoid hitting a deer, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

Officers gave Hernandez a field sobriety test testing a BAC of .23. Officers placed Hernandez under arrest for DWI and transported him to the Winona County Jail.

At the jail, Hernandez agreed to a chemical breath test, 2 hours after the alleged incident occurred. The results of the test found a BAC of .19, still more than twice the legal limit.

Hernandez appeared in court on Monday, facing two charges of 3rd-Degree DWI. Hernandez was released on $12,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled on Oct, 9.