A Milwaukee woman convicted of her ninth drunken driving offense has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to our partners at Fox 6 News.
Evelynn M. Brown, now 29, was arrested July 19 and charged with her ninth count of operating while intoxicated, as first reported in Wauwatosa Patch.
Brown's 11-month-old daughter was in the back seat.
At 10:57 p.m. that night, a man called the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department after seeing Brown driving northbound on Miller Park Way near Canal Street. He told officers she veered out of her lane, struck a median, drove across the grass for 50 feet, then veered across all four lanes of traffic and hit some construction barrels.
Brown continued northbound on Highway 41 before exiting at Lloyd Street, he said, where she finally stopped on the exit ramp after hitting another car.
When deputies arrived, they found a man assisting Brown who said she had sideswiped his car. He told them that after they stopped, he realized she was drunk and that there was a young child in the back of the car.
He said he got Brown out of the vehicle, then moved it to the side of the off-ramp.
Brown was crying and making incoherent remarks when the deputy spoke to her, and she smelled of alcohol. The deputy determined the 11-month-old in the back of the car was in fact Brown’s child.
Brown was arrested for drunken driving and taken in for a blood test.
Brown was previously convicted of drunk driving in 2000, 2001, 2002, four times in 2005 and once in 2008.
The complaint states the 2000 conviction was for negligent homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, stemming from a 1999 event.
According to an account of Brown's sentencing on CBS Channel 58 News, Brown's defense attorney said his client's most recent recent incident could have been prevented if she would have been tested for alchohol daily, but she was tested only once a month and managed to evade knowledge that she had relapsed into alcohol abuse.
But Judge David Hansher dismissed that suggestion, the CBS report said, saying that the probation department did not have the funds to provide a daily testing service for convicted drunken drivers.
"There is nothing illegal about drinking yourself to death ... you just can't drink and drive," Hansher said, according to CBS. "Enough is enough."
Hansher gave Brown what amounts to a maxium sentence under Wisconsin sentencing guidelines – 10 years actual imprisonment plus 10 years extended supervision. While the criminal statute calls for a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, the guidelines specify that only half that time must be served behind bars.
A review of Brown's court record shows that besides eight previous OWI convictions, she had several additional drunken driving charges dismissed on prosecutors' motions. She also had one case in 2004 in which she pleaded guilty to felony eluding an officer, plus 24 charges of bail jumping that were dismissed at the prosecutor's request.
According to court records of Brown’s last conviction in 2008, she was sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas P. Donegan in March of that year to two years in prison and three years of extended supervision.