Mandatory Jailtime Awaits Man for Fifth OWI
By Jacob Mathias
A Stevens Point man’s faces his fifth OWI charge after he was pulled over in the Town of Belmont travelling almost 30 miles over the speed limit.
Bernard Thompson, 48, is charged with fifth offense of OWI, a felony which carries up to a $10,000 fine, six years imprisonment or both if convicted. Because it is his fifth offense, Thompson will see a mandatory jail sentence of at least six months.
Thompson made his initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court on June 20.
According to court documents a Wisconsin State Trooper observed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed on Hwy. 22 in the Town of Belmont shortly after 3 PM on June 4. A radar reading indicated the vehicle was travelling at 84 mph in a 55-mile-zone.
The trooper turned on his emergency lights and attempted a traffic stop. The speeding vehicle then made a quick turn on Cty. Rd. AA, not using his turn signal, before turning into a church parking lot and stopping.
The trooper reports he noticed an odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle. When asked if he’d been drinking, Thompson replied “no.”
The trooper’s report states Thompson’s eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. According to the complaint, Thompson had spilled a plastic cup on the floor of his vehicle, which smelled of alcohol. Thompson claimed the cup did not belong to him.
Thompson struggled with field-sobriety tests, according to the complaint, after which he admitted to having two drinks when questioned.
A breathalyzer test was performed and indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.151, nearly twice the legal limit.
A $2,500 cash bond has been set for Thompson. He returns to court on July 18 at 3:00 PM for a preliminary hearing.