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Third Offense Stands Out Among 3 OWI Arrests

Multiple-offender arrested Sunday couldn't recite alphabet – but a first-offender from Tosa crashed into a pole, couldn't perform tests at all, and blew a .25 alcohol level.

In three drunken driving arrests over four days, one man stood out as a third-time offender who couldn't say the alphabet, but a Tosa man's first OWI ticket came after an early evening crash and with a whopping .25 BAC.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, a 56-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, third offense, after a traffic stop in the 2700 block of Swan Boulevard by Wauwatosa police.

An officer first noticed the driver when he made a very wide turn from North Avenue onto Swan, and he followed. As he did, he saw the man’s car straddle the center line for a full block.

When stopped, the man quickly lit and started puffing on a cigarette, but the officer said he could still detect an odor of alcohol. The man admitted to having had about four drinks at a social event.

He failed sobriety tests, among other things being unable to recite the alphabet on several attempts. He blew a .169 blood alcohol concentration on a preliminary breath test and a .14 later on an evidentiary test.

He had been convicted of OWIs in 1996 and 2003. He was given a mandatory court date and put on a 12-hour hold because he did not wish to call anyone for a ride.

Out of control – but 'OK to drive'

At 2:16 a.m. Saturday, a 32-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, first offense, after a traffic stop at West State and North 70th streets.

A patrol officer on State saw a pickup truck ahead of him go out of control, fishtailing and then spinning 180 degrees into the opposite lane. The driver quickly made a U-turn and continued.

The officer stopped him and immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol and said the man’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and his speech slow and slurred. He told the officer that he and some friends had been drinking and he had just driven them home because they had more to drink than he had ­– but he still thought he was "OK to drive."

The results of field sobriety tests, which he could barely perform, and an evidentiary breath test that showed a .16 BAC, suggested otherwise.

Out of control... and into a pole

At 5:09 p.m. Thursday, a 52-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, first offense, after he crashed into a light pole on West North Avenue at the southbound Hwy. 45 on-ramp.

Officers found the driver seated in the car, uninjured and trying to make a phone call. He smelled strongly of alcohol and “appeared intoxicated and disoriented,” an officer noted.

A witness who remained at the scene told police he was following the suspect when the man cut in front of him, forcing him to brake hard and swerve to avoid a collision.

He said the other driver could not maintain his lane, nearly left the road several times and almost hit several other vehicles. The witness said he was just about to call 911 when the crash occurred in front of him.

He stopped and told the man to stay in his car. He said the suspect started crying, handed over his driver’s license and some other papers, and asked the man if he was going to arrest him. No, the witness said, because he wasn’t a police officer.

The driver could not perform field sobriety tests and was taken to Wisconsin Heart Hospital for a blood draw to determine his alcohol concentration. But back at the police station, he also consented to an evidentiary breath test, which registered a .25 BAC.

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