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Man faces 5th OWI conviction

A Wisconsin man faces prison time after a traffic stop for a possible fifth OWI offense if convicted. On Feb. 12, another motorist reported a 2004 Chevrolet SUV that nearly hit a bridge, swerved between lanes and randomly stopped. The concerned citizen thought the person driving was drifting into unconsciousness.

Police found the SUV in Cudahy on East Barnard Avenue, and the authorities noted that the driver from Oak Creek was lethargic with bloodshot eyes and droopy eyelids. The motorist's speech was also slurred, and he had trouble showing officers his driver's license. The man had a pill container with one Oxycodone and one Diazepam. Within three hours of encountering the driver, the police took him to St. Luke's Southshore for blood tests. This revealed Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Valium and benzodiazepines in the man's system.

Even a first drug charge could be a felony. The unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Wisconsin is typically punishable with a felony, but the severity can vary. A Class I felony carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and a three-year sentence. One could be given one or both of these consequences if convicted. A Class C felony is the most severe for drug crimes and could come with a maximum fine of $100,000 or a 40-year sentence.

One could be charged with a Class I felony for having or attempting to possess cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or marijuana. A Class C felony offense could happen when charged with manufacturing or distributing more than 40 grams of an illicit drug. While these are only a few of the potential felonies for drug charges, these examples show that the state takes drug crimes seriously. Those charged with drunk driving or an OWI that have been enhanced by drug possession charges may need to consult an attorney.

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