Sixth OWI lands woman in prison for four years

Grafton driver arrested after she backed into car in Saukville roundabout
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A 54-year-old woman who was arrested after backing into a vehicle in a Saukville roundabout was sentenced recently to four years in prison for her sixth drunken driving conviction.

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy also sentenced Grafton resident Wendy L. Goldberg, who according to a preliminary breath test at the time of the March accident had an alcohol level of 0.31 — nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08 — to three years of extended supervision during an Oct. 24 hearing.

Malloy, who noted Goldberg had even higher alcohol levels when tested after previous arrests, said it is perplexing that despite a history of drinking and driving that dates to 1996 Goldberg apparently didn’t receive the help she needed to deal with her addiction.

“You seem to soldier on through life without a lot of help on the alcohol problem,” he told her. “I don’t know how we missed the boat on this.

“This is a sixth-offense OWI. It’s huge.

“People ask how can these people continue to drive. It’s a question particularly in Wisconsin we don’t have an answer to.”

According to the criminal complaint, Saukville police officers were called to the roundabout at Green Bay Avenue and Market Street at 3:39 p.m. March 20 and spoke to a driver who said she was in the roundabout when a Jeep stopped between two traffic lanes and backed into her.

Officers found the Jeep, which was driven by Goldberg, in the nearby Piggly Wiggly parking lot, where it was impeding traffic.

Goldberg appeared to be hunched over the steering wheel, and when an officer approached the vehicle she revved the engine and attempted to shift it into reverse. The officer reached into the Jeep and put it in park.

Goldberg said she had driven from Grafton to the Saukville grocery store, and rather than fleeing the scene of the accident, she drove into the parking lot thinking the other driver would follow her. She said she intended to report the accident to police.

Goldberg was also charged with hit and run, but that charge was dismissed when she agreed to plead guilty to sixth-offense drunken driving.

“Frankly, I don’t think you were capable of fleeing,” Malloy told her. 

Goldberg, who said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, told Malloy she is committed to getting her life back on track.

“I’m a very determined person,” she said. “I’m going to make this work no matter what.”

Malloy made Goldberg eligible for the state’s substance abuse program, but only after she serves three years of her prison sentence. Inmates who complete the six-month program have the remainder of their prison sentences converted to extended supervision.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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