A La Valle woman is charged with her sixth operating a motor vehicle while under the influence offense after she allegedly nearly struck a pedestrian with her vehicle while drunk in Mauston, then fled, crashed her car and hid in a tree.
Sherry Alderman, 51, of La Valle is charged with felony operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, sixth offense; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted of the felony charge, she faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 1:27 a.m. Sept. 12, Officer Blake Fish of the Mauston Police Department was dispatched to a motel on Gateway Avenue in Mauston for a report of a female who had made self-harm statements and was heavily intoxicated prior to leaving the motel.
Fish arrived at the motel where he met with an employee of the motel. The employee stated a female drove towards the employee while the employee was standing outside, nearly striking her. The employee called 911 as another witness had told the employee that the driver was intoxicated and made statements about harming herself.
The employee showed Fish camera footage of the incident, which showed a female entering a car and sitting in the car for a short time before accelerating rapidly toward the entrance of the hotel.
The employee provided Fish with three digits of the license plate the employee was able to remember.
Fish spoke with the second witness, who stated he was trying to contact the female who he identified by her first name as “Sherry.” He stated he did not know her last name, but the voicemail of her phone number sounded like “Holderman.”
Juneau County Communications Center informed Fish the female could be Sherry Alderman. Fish had prior professional contacts with Alderman, and the three digits of the license plate provided by the motel employee matched the registration on Alderman’s vehicle.
The second witness told Fish that Alderman had come from a Mauston bar to attempt to locate him, but he did not know her that well. He further stated Alderman was staying at the motel with another female.
Fish located the female staying at the motel with Alderman. She stated Alderman had said she was going to commit suicide, and that she could barely understand Alderman because she “was so drunk.”
Upon returning to his vehicle to enter investigation information, the female stated Alderman had texted her phone. Through text and phone calls, the female tried to find a location for Alderman, but Alderman initially refused to give a location, stating that she would end up in jail. Eventually Alderman said she was on Highway G near Festival Foods in Mauston.
Two other deputies responded to assist Fish. It was determined through conversation with the female that Alderman had a police scanner and was aware law enforcement was looking for her, that she had wrecked her car, and that she was hiding in a tree near a trailer park on Highway G.
Police searched for Alderman for about an hour and a half in consistent and heavy rain but were unable to locate Alderman. Fish asked the female if Alderman would allow her to pick her up, to which Alderman agreed so long as law enforcement vacated the area. The officers agreed, stating they would leave the area and meet the female in the motel parking lot.
About ten minutes later, the female drove into the parking lot, where officers made contact with the vehicle and observed Alderman asleep in the passenger seat. When Alderman opened the door they could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from her breath, her speech was slurred, and her eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
A deputy attempted to locate Alderman’s car, eventually finding it at a residence at a trailer park. A witness said Alderman had admitted to hitting a light pole, and admitted to driving after getting into an argument at a bar. The deputy noted several scratches on the hood of the vehicle and a scratch on the bumper.
Fish, while speaking with Alderman at the motel, was told by Alderman she had last driven her vehicle two to three hours prior. The deputy located Alderman’s jacket in the vehicle, and the jacket contained a “crack pipe.”
Alderman told Fish she had a couple beers in two separate locations. She told Fish her car was fine, that she “might have hit a pothole, and I might have hit a ditch, but that was it.” Alderman later admitted to drinking more at a bar.
Fish asked Alderman to perform field sobriety tests and she agreed. During the tests, Fish observed 14 of a possible 18 clues indicating Alderman was intoxicated. She agreed to a preliminary breath test, blowing a 0.11. Alderman had a 0.02 blood alcohol content restriction due to previous OWI’s.
Alderman was placed under arrest and transported to the Juneau County Jail without incident. At the jail, Alderman refused a blood draw. EMS performed an evidentiary blood draw after obtaining a warrant.
Alderman is scheduled for a plea hearing Jan. 13, 2021 at the Juneau County Justice Center.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.