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A Poynette man facing a ninth drunken driving charge allegedly told a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper he believed he was impaired after he could not complete a field sobriety test.

James Richard Park, 77, faces a felony drunken driving charge as a ninth offense.

During an initial court appearance Thursday in Columbia County Circuit Court, Judge Troy Cross set a $500 cash bond for Park.

Cross also ordered Park not to possess or consume alcohol, visit anyplace where alcohol is sold for onsite consumption, nor operate any motor vehicles without a valid driver’s license.

A return court date is scheduled for Oct. 21.

According to a criminal complaint, at 8:33 p.m. Tuesday, Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Joseph Youngblood saw a vehicle stopped in Chrislaw Road in the town of West Point outside of Lodi.

Youngblood reported a man appeared to be urinating outside the passenger side of the vehicle.

The trooper approached Park and asked what he was doing. Park said “he had stopped so his lady could have a smoke.” Youngblood noticed a woman was sitting and smoking inside the vehicle.

When Youngblood asked the driver how much he had to drink, Park said he had “a few” drinks.

When asked why he was driving after drinking, Park allegedly said, he was taking back roads home “because he had seen what happened to some people” and said “he made a mistake.”

During a field sobriety test, Park allegedly told the trooper, “I think I’m impaired, sir.”

A preliminary breath test indicated Park had a blood alcohol level of 0.089. The legal limit to drive in Wisconsin is 0.08.

Between 1989 and 2001, Park was convicted of drunken driving eight times, according to the complaint.

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