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Pursuit reaching 110 mph leads to felony DWI conviction for man eventually stopped in Olivia, Minnesota

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Nov. 21—OLIVIA

— An Apple Valley, Minnesota, man was sentenced to 60 months in prison for felony driving while impaired after a pursuit and traffic stop for speeding.

Craig Michael Van Dam, 41, was sentenced Oct. 11 in Renville County District Court after a jury handed down a guilty verdict in August.

Judge Keith Helgeson gave Van Dam credit for 96 days already served.

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Under Minnesota law, offenders are required to serve at least two-thirds of a sentence in custody and may be allowed to serve the remaining time on supervised release.

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Van Dam’s expected release date from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud is Nov. 5, 2025.

According to the criminal complaint, Van Dam was observed speeding on U.S. Highway 212 the night of July 22, 2021, while driving through Bird Island, and a deputy sheriff began to follow.

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As the deputy pursued, Van Dam accelerated his vehicle and hit speeds over 110 mph, according to the complaint. Van Dam was eventually stopped near the city of Olivia.

Van Dam told law enforcement he was traveling as fast as he could to help a female acquaintance being abused by her boyfriend, according to the complaint.

While law enforcement checked on the well-being of the female acquaintance, field sobriety tests were conducted after officers noticed Van Dam was sweating profusely and had dilated pupils.

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According to the complaint, Van Dam was unsteady on his feet, but denied using any drugs or alcohol. The deputy concluded that Van Dam was under the influence

A review of Van Dam’s record showed that he had several prior arrests for impaired driving, including two felony DWI convictions. Van Dam’s license also had a restriction stating any use of alcohol or drugs would invalidate his license, according to the complaint.

Van Dam was arrested and a subsequent search of his vehicle yielded a glass pipe and an old prescription bottle containing suspected marijuana buds.

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