Accused drunk driver charged with hitting car repeatedly

Saukville man who rammed vehicle multiple times in Port faces felonies
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

A 55-year-old Saukville man accused of hitting the same vehicle multiple times as he drove through Port Washington Monday has been charged with two felonies, including fourth-offense drunken driving.

When police officers caught up with Frederick J. Rothstein, he told them he knew he was driving too fast and admitted to hitting a car perhaps three times but said he didn’t report the accidents because he was drunk, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Ozaukee County Circuit Court. 

The complaint is based on the report of a woman who said she was driving from Saukville to Port Washington at 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, when she saw Rothstein driving “all over” the two roundabouts in Saukville as he was heading east on Highway 33, the complaint states.

She said she lost sight of Rothstein, who was ahead of her, but then passed his car parked in the left lane of Highway 33.

The woman said she entered the City of Port Washington and had gone through the roundabout at Highway LL when she noticed Rothstein’s vehicle was coming up behind her quickly, scaring her. 

She said that as she continued east on Grand Avenue, Rothstein hit the back of her car near South Tower Drive multiple times. 

As she neared the traffic lights at Spring Street, Rothstein sideswiped her car, bounced off it and passed her, according to the complaint.

The woman said she had back pain and was taken to a hospital.

When authorities found Rothstein, they immediately noticed he smelled of alcohol, the complaint states.

Rothstein agreed to field sobriety tests, but they could not be completed because he couldn’t maintain his balance, according to the complaint.

He refused to allow his blood to be drawn, but a sample was obtained after authorities secured a search warrant.

Rothstein was convicted of drunken driving twice in Ozaukee County and once in Washington County in 1996, 2016 and 2017, according to court records. 

In addition to fourth-offense drunken driving, Rothstein is charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony punishable by a maximum five years in prison and five years of extended supervision. 

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Steve Cain set bail for Rothstein at $2,500 Tuesday. 

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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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