A Hixton man faces criminal charges after allegedly driving while intoxicated and crashing his vehicle into a tree.

Rayce Pettibone, 37, is charged with operating while intoxicated—7th offense, and operate motor vehicle while revoked. He faces up to twelve years imprisonment for the first charge.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Juneau County Sheriff’s Deputy received a report of a vehicle crash in the town of Lyndon on Dec. 9 at approximately 9:17 p.m.

Upon arriving at the sight of the reported crash, the deputy observed a silver sedan that “had left the roadway and struck a tree.” The deputy saw an individual standing next to the vehicle on the driver’s side wearing dark clothing.

The individual, later identified as Pettibone, started walking towards the woods as the deputy got closer. The deputy pulled up behind the vehicle and activated his overhead lights. He then yelled to Pettibone to “come back here.”

Pettibone eventually came back out of the woods.

The deputy directed him back to his vehicle. As they walked the deputy could smell “a strong odor of intoxicants,” from Pettibone. The deputy asked Pettibone if he was okay. Pettibone replied “I wasn’t driving.” Pettibone stated the car was not his.

The deputy searched him and found no contraband. But he was able to identify him as Rayce Pettibone by the Ho Chunk identification card in his wallet.

The deputy reported Pettibone’s name to dispatch. Dispatch informed him they were on the phone with the reporting party, who witnessed the crash.

Pettibone said he had been drinking. When asked how much, he replied “a few.” But Pettibone denied driving.

The deputy asked Pettibone how he got there. Pettibone replied “what does it matter.” Pettibone used the same response when asked where he was coming from and where he was going.

Pettibone stated he was from Blackriver and did not know who was driving the vehicle.

Pettibone would not undergo field sobriety tests.

The deputy placed Pettibone in handcuffs and put him in the back of his patrol vehicle.

A witness to the crash said she was willing to write a statement on what she saw. An additional witness stated he had been speaking with Pettibone earlier, and identified him as the individual he saw behind the wheel.

The witness stated he saw Pettibone behind the wheel of a silver Chevrolet. The witness asked Pettibone if he needed help and mumbled then slumped back into the driver’s seat.

The deputy concluded from tracks in the snow the vehicle had been traveling Northwest on 64th Street and continued across 65th Street until it struck a tree.

Inside the vehicle, the deputy observed three open cans of blood orange flavored Mike’s Harder Lemonade, an alcoholic beverage. One can was in the cup holder of the middle console while the other two were on the passenger side floor.

The deputy returned to his patrol vehicle and and opened the back door to speak with Pettibone. Pettibone had passed out leaning on the door and the deputy had to catch him to prevent him from falling out onto the ground.

The deputy informed Pettibone he was under arrest for driving while intoxicated and put on his seat belt.

The deputy then transported Pettibone to the Juneau County Jail. While in transit, Pettibone told the deputy, “you could just bring me home.”

At the jail, Pettibone agreed to an evidentiary test of his blood. Pettibone asked how the car was. The deputy informed him it had to be towed and was most likely totaled. Pettibone appeared upset and stated it was his mother’s car.

Pettibone is not currently in the Juneau County Jail. He posted a cash bond of $500 on Dec. 14. Pettibone is due for in court at the Juneau County Justice Center on Jan. 24.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl