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La Farge man facing 5th OWI after New Lisbon traffic stop
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La Farge man facing 5th OWI after New Lisbon traffic stop

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A La Farge man is charged with his fifth operating a motor vehicle while under the influence after he allegedly lied to police during a New Lisbon traffic stop and refused a breath test while smelling strongly of intoxicants.

John Poulos, 36, of La Farge is charged with felony operating a motor vehicle while under the influence – fifth offense, and misdemeanors obstructing an officer and operating a motor vehicle while revoked with revocation due to alcohol, controlled substances or refusal. If convicted of the felony offense he is facing up 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

On July 12, Officer Kevin Weinshrott of the New Lisbon Police Department was parked at a stop sign on Highway 80 in New Lisbon when he observed a vehicle heading north at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was traveling over the fog line and was not in its proper lane.

Weinshrott waited for two vehicles behind the truck to clear the intersection then activated his emergency lights and tried to catch up to the vehicle. Once caught up to the vehicle, the vehicle crossed the center line and the fog line again.

After initiating his sirens, Weinshrott saw the driver look at him through the side mirrors, continue driving, and then look at him several more times before pulling over. When the vehicle finally pulled over it went down the side embankment and then back up the embankment before stopping.

Weinshrott approached the driver and asked for his license, but the driver claimed he did not have one. Weinshrott noted an extreme smell of intoxicants coming from the driver’s breath. Asked to exit the vehicle, the driver had to hold onto the door for balance and when asked to walk to the front of the squad car the driver instead walked behind his own vehicle.

The driver told Weinshrott his name was John when asked. Asked to spell his last name the driver stated B.U.C.H.A.N, and his date of birth was Nov. 30, 1993.

Weinshrott could still smell a strong odor of intoxicants while speaking to the driver. Asked how much he had to drink, the driver said nothing, but he did have some drinks the previous night. Asked where he was coming from, the driver said from the Shell gas station. Weinshrott told the driver that the statement was a lie, as he had passed Weinshrott before the gas station. The driver said he was headed home a few miles away, but would not say where his house was located.

Juneau County Dispatch checked the information given by the driver but was unable to get a return. Asked again for his information, the driver said he was from Michigan, but using the additional information dispatch was still unable to get a return.

Weinshrott asked the driver to perform field sobriety tests, to which the driver agreed. During the horizontal nystagmus test, Weinshrott observed six out of six possible clues indicating impairment.

The driver initially agreed to perform the walk and turn test. After Weinshrott explained the instructions for the test, the driver stated he had dislocated his knee but had not sought medical attention, and asked if he could take off his shoes for the test. When told he could, the driver said he would not do the test as he felt it would not be valid.

During the one-leg stance test, the driver lifted his right foot, counted to seven and stopped, then lifted his left foot, counted to two, and told Weinshrott he would not do the test. Asked to do a preliminary breath test, the driver said he would not do anything without his attorney.

Weinshrott placed the driver under arrest. While searching the driver as part of the arrest, Weinshrott found a credit card with the name John Poulos on the card. Asked if that was his name, Poulos said he would not give any information without his attorney.

A search of the vehicle found mail with Poulos’ name and a bottle of whisky behind the driver seat but within reach of the driver. The registered owner of the vehicle arrived on scene and stated the driver was John Poulos. While being transported to the jail, Poulos kept repeating he would not do anything until he spoke to an attorney.

Jail staff performed a blood draw after a warrant was issued for the draw.

Poulos is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance Oct. 28 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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