Woman gets 15 years in prison for drunken driving crash on I-94 in Hudson that killed musician

14 July 2023

An Alexandria, Minn., woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for driving drunk and causing a head-on crash in October that killed a Twin Cities musician on Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin.

Amber Lea Pospisil (Courtesy of the St. Croix Sheriff’s Office)

Amber Lea Pospisil, 32, pleaded no contest In April in St. Croix County Circuit Court to one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in connection with the Oct. 30 wrong-way crash in Hudson that killed 54-year-old Mark Douglas Filbrandt of Robbinsdale.

Filbrandt was a guitarist for the metal band Gorrified and headed home from a show in Menomonie, Wis., at the time of the early-morning crash.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Croix County dispatch received a call at about 12:30 a.m. of a vehicle going eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-94 near milepost two. About two minutes later, dispatch began receiving calls about the crash.

A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper found Pospisil conscious and uninjured in her Toyota Corolla Cross SUV. Filbrandt was unresponsive and trapped inside his Toyota RAV4 SUV. He had a faint pulse and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pospisil told the trooper she drank after a wedding, and a breath test at the scene revealed her blood-alcohol content was 0.218, which is more than two and a half times the legal limit to drive.

In an interview at the St. Croix County Jail, Pospisil said she had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and that her drinking and driving was for “freedom,” and compared it to a relapse.

Pospisil said she had no memory of driving the wrong way on the interstate, that the first thing she remembered after the crash was EMTs pulling her from her vehicle. She was “shocked” when told that Filbrandt died in the crash, the complaint said.

Previous crash

It was not the first time Pospisil was involved in a drunken driving crash.

In 2021, she pleaded guilty to third-degree DWI in Douglas County, Minn., after rear-ending a vehicle driven by a 75-year-old woman who suffered injuries. Blood test results revealed Pospisil’s blood-alcohol content was 0.296, according to court documents.

She was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation in April of that year.

St. Croix County Judge Scott Needham handed down Friday’s sentence, which includes 10 years of extended supervision after Pospisil’s release from prison. She received credit for the 257 days she had served in custody since her arrest.

Conditions of her supervised release include “absolute sobriety,” random alcohol tests and 200 hours of community service, preferably public speaking on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, according to court records.

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