Lakeville North High School’s athletic and activities director, 47-year-old Robert Lornez Ertl, pleaded guilty to gross-misdemeanor DWI in Dakota County District Court.

This plea comes after Ertl was arrested with a blood alcohol concentration of .13. After entering his plea, the judge immediately sentenced him to a year in jail, but she stayed the sentence for two years and ordered two years of supervised probation, $615 in fines, 10 days of electronic home monitoring, and 240 community service hours. Ertl must also abstain from alcohol and drugs and go through a chemical evaluation. During his probation, he cannot have any alcohol-related offenses or driver’s license violations or he could serve time in jail.

The Lakeville Area Public School District released a statement that Ertl had informed them of the June incident right after it occurred. The administration has stated that they are providing Ertl with support and that they are confident that he will continue to be a positive leader for the students, the staff, and the athletes.

Ertl has also stated that he is working to get his life in order, as he entered alcohol treatment after his June arrest. He also issued an apology to the district and the community for any negativity that his actions may have had.

According to the criminal complaint, a Lakeville police officer was driving by Babe’s Sports Bar and saw a man sitting behind the wheel in a green Jeep in the bar’s lot. The officer passed by a total of three times. The same officer would see the jeep on the road at 11:30 p.m., driving very slowly. When Ertl came to a dead end, he turned off the headlights and then turned them on again. This is when the officer decided to approach. Ertl told the officer that he stopped to call someone because he decided he was not in the condition to be driving.

The officer further stated in the complaint that he could smell the strong odor of alcohol and that Ertl had watery and bloodshot eyes with slurred speech. Ertl admitted to him that he had had a few drinks.

When asked to perform field sobriety tests, Ertl was not able to perform them to the satisfaction of the officer. He also failed the breath test, according to the complaint.

This was not Ertl’s first DWI arrest. He was also charged with DWI in 2008, as well as careless driving. He reached a plea agreement and only pleaded guilty to the careless driving offense. This resulted in 40 hours of community service and a year of supervised probation. Because the careless driving offense was DWI-related, that made the recent conviction a gross misdemeanor.

Experienced Minnesota DWI defense lawyers at Meaney & Patrin can help you in this difficult time. No matter what degree of DWI or DUI you are charged with, a criminal defense attorney can develop a strategy for defense that will ultimately lead to the most favorable outcome possible for your individual case. Call us today at 612-223-6595.