Wrong-way drivers accused of being drunk face felonies

By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

Two wrong-way drivers arrested last week — both accused of being drunk and one blamed for causing a crash — have been charged with felonies in separate cases in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.

Grafton resident Zackery L. Maier, 26, told authorities he had been drinking vodka lemonades at a bar in Jackson before causing an accident at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 24, on Green Bay Road in the Town of Cedarburg, according to a criminal complaint.

Maier had been driving his Ford pickup truck north on Green Bay Road when he crossed into the southbound lane and continued to travel the wrong way. The driver of a southbound Hyundai SUV said she saw Maier headed toward her and swerved but could not avoid the pickup truck, the complaint states.

Both vehicles sustained extensive front-end damage and the driver of the SUV, who complained of head and chest pain, was taken to a hospital.

A deputy noticed Maier was unsteady and smelled of alcohol. As the officer was questioning him about drinking, Maier received a phone call and told the caller “I’m going to jail,” according to the complaint.

Maier refused to participate in field sobriety tests but did submit to a preliminary breath test, which showed he had an alcohol level of .235, the complaint states.

Maier is charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety and first-offense operating while intoxicated causing injury, a misdemeanor.

Also charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety is David C. Smith, 59, of Random Lake, who was arrested after driving the wrong way on I-43 in the Town of Saukville just after 11 p.m. Friday, July 29.

A deputy who was in a turnaround in the median of I-43 near Highway 33 saw an SUV driven by Smith traveling south in the northbound lanes. Smith was in the left lane when he passed an oncoming vehicle in the right lane, then seconds later another oncoming vehicle in the left lane had to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision, according to the complaint filed in that case.

The deputy pulled into the southbound lanes, activated his emergency lights and shined his spotlight on Smith’s SUV to get him to pull over, which he eventually did in the median.

Smith said he was driving from Milwaukee to his home in Random Lake, but he was headed south and Random Lake was 13 miles north of where he was pulled over.

Smith appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, performed poorly on field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed he had an alcohol level of .148, the complaint states.

In addition to being charged with endangering safety, he was cited for first-offense drunken diving.

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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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