A Mauston woman pulled over for speeding is facing her sixth operating while under the influence and felony THC charges.
Sherry Alderman, 52, of Mauston is charged with felony operating a motor vehicle while under the influence—sixth offense, two counts of felony bail jumping, felony possession of tetrahydrocannabinols – second and subsequent offense, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both, for the OWI charge; up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each of the bail jumping charges; and up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for the THC charge.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 12:59 a.m. March 12, Trooper Allan Platt was traveling westbound on Highway 82 when he observed a vehicle traveling visibly faster than the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. A radar reading gave a steady response of 63 miles per hour.
As the vehicle approached, Platt observed that the vehicle had a defective headlight. The vehicle sped up as he turned around to catch up to the vehicle, with a second radar reading giving a steady response of 68 miles per hour.
Platt initiated a traffic stop and approached the vehicle. As Platt walked to the driver’s side window, the occupant stared out the front passenger side window for several moments without noticing Platt’s presence.
The vehicle had a large crack across the entire windshield, and a wooden wedge and other folded paperwork was shoved between the window and the weather stripping.
After several moments the driver noticed Platt. She had red and pink bloodshot eyes, with droopy eyelids, and her eyes were glassy. She apologized to Platt and said she knew she was speeding because she was on the way to the hospital where her daughter was having a baby.
The driver apologized again for her speed and stated she did not know she was going so fast. As she spoke, Platt observed her speech was slow and slurred, and he could smell a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage.
Platt asked the driver for her license. As she was grabbing the license she dropped an unlit cigarette she was holding several times. The driver was identified as Sherry Alderman, and Platt observed a 0.02 blood alcohol content restriction while looking at her license.
As Platt was standing next to the vehicle he observed a candy package on the floor with marijuana leaves on the packaging.
Asked if she knew how fast she was going, Alderman responded that she thought she was going 72 miles per hour. Platt asked her to step out of the vehicle. As she stepped out of the vehicle she fell back on her car.
Alderman stated she “probably had one beer.” She stated she had not used marijuana in three weeks, did not use edibles, and did not use any other drugs. When Platt mentioned the edibles package on the floor, Alderman said they had been there “forever” and she believed the package had one gummy inside.
A probable cause search of Alderman revealed a cellophane wrapper inside of which was a black hard chunk. Alderman said it was most likely a piece of Brillo that she got from a friend, and it was probably used for a meth pipe. Alderman said she used to use crack.
Alderman agreed to a breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, but stated she was scared because she was on a “no drink bond.” She told Platt “I did drink, and I’m admitting to that,” and she repeatedly told Platt she was out on bond for drinking and was not supposed to be driving.
During the tests Platt observed a total of 17 out of 18 clues indicating intoxication. A breath test gave a reading of 0.084 after several failed attempts due to a “very weak” breath sample.
After placing Alderman under arrest, a search was conducted of her vehicle. Inside the vehicle officers found a gummy inside the edible package, a bag with Alderman’s mail, a wash cloth containing a silver crack pipe and aspirin.
Alderman was transported to the Juneau County Jail without incident. At the jail she was asked to submit to an evidentiary blood draw but refused, stating it “ain’t going to help me.” A warrant was issued for the blood draw.
After the blood draw, Platt interrogated Alderman. Alderman kept saying she did not want to talk because she only had a seventh grade education. At one point Alderman stated “Well that’s what drunk people say,” and when asked if she had just admitted to drinking Alderman said “I didn’t say (expletive).”
Alderman has an open case for a sixth operating while intoxicated offense from September 2020. As that case has not been resolved, the charges from this case are also filed as a sixth operating while intoxicated. Alderman has not been convicted in that case, and is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Alderman is scheduled for an arraignment in the case from September on July 15. She is scheduled for a plea hearing in the second case also on July 15.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.