Fifth OWI Charge Could Net Point Man More Than 10 Years Behind Bars
City Times Staff
A Stevens Point man faces a judge today after being charged with his fifth OWI offense.
Brian W. Heidger, 31, was arrested last December near the intersection of Patch St. and Industrial Park Dr. after being stopped by police for driving without a proper license. According to the complaint, a random check of Heidger’s license plate revealed while the car was registered to Heidger, he only possessed an instructional permit and could not legally drive without a licensed adult. The officer could clearly see Heidger was the only occupant of the car, according to the complaint.
During the traffic stop, Heidger insisted he did have a license and “was good to drive”. While he spoke, the officer observed Heidger’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and could also detect the scent of marijuana from inside the vehicle.
When questioned, Heidger admitted to having smoked marijuana “a couple of hours ago”, but also admitted to having marijuana inside duffle bag next to the front seat, according to the complaint.
When the officer asked Heidger to step out of the vehicle so a search could be performed, Heidger did not respond and only “stared straight ahead”. The officer had to repeat his question several times before Heidger responded, the complaint said.
Heidger refused to complete all field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated- fifth offense, which carries a maximum penalty of six years and felony possession of THC – second offense, which has a maximum penalty of three and a half years in prison.
Due to his criminal history Heidger was designated a repeat offender, which would increase his sentence, if convicted, by as much as eight years. Heidger previously had been convicted of possession of THC in Waupaca County in 2001; delivery of THC in Waushara County in 2004; and discharging a bodily fluid on a public safety worker or law enforcement officer in Portage County in 2014.
Heidger’s pre-trial conference is scheduled for Monday in Branch II.