Driver who hit car gets 18 months for 5th OWI

Saukville woman was pulled over three times in two communities before arrest

By BILL SCHANEN IV

Ozaukee Press staff

A 58-year-old Saukville woman who was pulled over for bad driving three times in two communities before hitting a car and being arrested in June 2021 was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week for her fifth operating under the influence offense.

Sharon R. Garcia, who pleaded guilty to the felony during a Nov. 9 hearing, was also sentenced by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams to five years of extended supervision following her incarceration.

Garcia was pulled over on North Wisconsin Street in Port Washington around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, after a driver who was following her reported she was straying into the oncoming lane of traffic and braking heavily for no apparent reason, according to the criminal complaint.

Garcia told police officer James Russell that she crossed the center line because she was trying to retrieve her cell phone. She also said her vehicle has steering problems and that she brakes every time she exceeds the speed limit by 3 mph.

Russell noticed that Garcia’s movements and speech were slow and that her eyes were droopy. She denied drinking alcohol but said she was taking several prescription medications, although none that would affect her driving, the complaint states.

She noted she is disabled due to a back condition and has problems with her right leg.

Garcia also told Russell that she had been pulled over very recently in Saukville after police received a complaint about her driving and officers had to give her a ride home.

Russell issued her a citation for crossing the center line and let her go.

He did, however, follow her and noticed that she came to a stop on Wisconsin Street at Washington Street and remained there for some time despite the fact there are no stop signs.

Garcia eventually turned west onto Washington Street, and after a short time began driving in the eastbound lane. Russell reported that she nearly hit cars on both sides of the street before striking a parked vehicle.

Russell pulled Garcia over again and told her that he no longer believed she could safely drive.

Garcia had trouble holding her head up during field sobriety tests and exhibited a lack of coordination, which the officer believed was due to her taking too much prescription medication and her disability, the complaint states.

According to court records, Garcia was convicted of operating while intoxicated four previous times between 1996 and 2007 in Ozaukee County.

During last week’s hearing, Williams revoked Garcia’s driver’s license for 36 months. Before she drives again, Garcia must have an ignition interlock system installed on her vehicle and keep the device in place for 36 months.

She must also maintain absolute sobriety while on extended supervision.

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