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Necedah man charged with 6th OWI after traffic stop for expired tag
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Necedah man charged with 6th OWI after traffic stop for expired tag

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A Necedah man pulled over for expired tags is facing his 6th operating while under the influence charge.

Craig Tracy, 64, of Necedah is charged with felony operating a motor vehicle while under the influence – 6th offense, and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle while revoked with the revocation due to alcohol, a controlled substance, or refusal. If convicted of the OWI charge he faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 12:32 a.m. Aug. 11, Officer Kevin Patrenets of the Necedah Police Department was stopped at a yield sign on Highway 80 when he observed a vehicle pass. As the vehicle passed, he observed the plates appeared to show the vehicle’s registration had expired.

Patrenets pulled behind the vehicle and ran the plates through the squad system, discovering the plates had expired in 2014. He initiated a traffic stop.

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After stating the reason for the stop the driver, who was later identified as Craig Tracy, was asked about the expired plates. Tracy said he knew the plates were expired. When asked for license, registration and insurance, Tracy stated he does not have insurance on the vehicle. While speaking with Tracy, Patrenets noted Tracy had slurred speech and red and glassy eyes.

Patrenets walked back to his vehicle to start a records check. Once started he returned to speak with Tracy, who had just finished smoking a cigarette. Tracy said he knew his driving status was revoked.

Asked if he had been drinking, Tracy said he had, and admitted to having one beer about two hours prior to being pulled over. Patrenets asked Tracy to step out of the vehicle and move to the back of his squad car. Once away from the vehicle, which smelled of cigarettes, Patrenets could smell a “moderate odor of intoxicating beverages” coming from Tracy’s breath. Patrenets transported Tracy to the Kwik Trip parking lot to perform field sobriety tests.

During the first test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, Patrenets observed six clues indicating Tracy was intoxicated. During the walk and turn test, Patrenets again observed six clues indicating intoxication. Tracy refused to finish the test, complaining of his legs hurting. During the one-leg stand test Tracy again complained of his legs hurting, but Patrenets observed two clues indicating intoxication.

Once finished with field sobriety tests, Tracy was asked to submit to a preliminary breath test, to which he agreed. The first test was unable to gain a reading while a second test gave a reading of 0.052 blood alcohol concentration.

Although Patrenets originally advised Tracy the legal limit is 0.08, after reviewing Tracy’s record, Patrenets discovered Tracy has five previous OWI convictions in Wisconsin and a legal limit of 0.02. Tracy was arrested and transported to the Juneau County Jail, where EMS performed a legal blood draw.

Tracy failed to appear for an initial appearance Sept. 30 and an arrest warrant has been issued.

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

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