ST. PAUL (KMSP) - Lindsey Krieger says what happened to her is nothing less than police overreach and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. On Monday morning, she was pulled over after a St. Paul police officer saw her take a sip of coffee while traveling on I-94.
“I was completely dumbfounded,” Krieger said. “I thought it was a joke!”
Krieger says she barely got a chance to merge onto I-94 from University Avenue in St. Paul when the officer tailed her and threw on the squad’s lights.
“I didn’t even have enough time to merge up to the right speed limit yet, so I wasn’t speeding or anything like that,” Krieger said of the incident.
“She was like, ‘Do you know what you were doing wrong? Do you know why you were pulled over?’ I said, ‘no I have no idea what you’re talking about.‘ And finally after asking me a few more times she says, ‘Drinking coffee. It’s against the law to drink coffee while you’re driving.'”
Sgt. Mike Ernster with St. Paul Police Department couldn’t comment on the case specifically, but said the cop has the law on her side.
“Inattentive driving relates to anything that takes your attention away from those obligations of every driver, which is to pay attention,” Ernster said.
Jon Cummings with Minnesotans for Safe Driving raised a brow when he heard Krieger’s story, thinking this incident has the cops focusing on the wrong people.
“Every car you drive in has cup holders in it,” Cummings said. “You don’t have to go three blocks before you see somebody doing something really dangerous. Those are the people we should be focusing on.”
Krieger was cited, but not for sipping coffee.
“She came back and said, ‘I’m going to give you a warning for the coffee but I’m going to give you a no seat belt ticket’ which I happened to take off when I was pulled over.”
Krieger plans on contesting the ticket in court, and says she will continue to drink coffee behind the wheel.
EDITOR'S NOTE: After the airing of this story, the Minnesota State Patrol confirmed Krieger was pulled over because she was driving without a seat belt.