Sarona Woman Charged With 6th OWI After Traffic Stop For Driving Wrong Way on HWY 53
A Washburn County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle for traveling the wrong way on State Highway 53, and felony OWI 6th Offense charges have now been filed in Washburn County Circuit Court against the driver, Nancy Baker, of Sarona, WI.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Washburn County Circuit Court, a Washburn County Sheriff’s Deputy saw a vehicle traveling the wrong way on State Highway 53 on June 4, 2018, just before 11p. The Deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and immediately observed signs of intoxication in the driver, identified as Nancy Baker, of Sarona, WI.
Baker was slurring her words and when the Deputy told her that she had been stopped because she was driving the wrong way on the highway, she stated that although she had grown up in the area, she had not driven the roads in some time and was unfamiliar with them.
Although Baker was hesitant to exit her vehicle, according to the criminal complaint, she did, wearing only one shoe. The Deputy asked her if she would like to retrieve her other shoe prior to attempting the field sobriety testing, however, Baker instead kicked off the one shoe she was wearing and walked towards the Deputy. The criminal complaint goes on to state that Baker also told the Deputy she had suffered a concussion in 2017 and suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. She was not able to complete the field sobriety testing successfully.
The criminal complaint goes on to state that when asked how much alcohol she had to drink that evening, Baker told the Deputy she had two ‘vodka 7’s’ a while ago. A preliminary breath test conducted with Baker returned a result of .23 and Baker was placed under arrest for Operating While Intoxicated.
When the Deputy checked the contents of Baker’s purse, he located a ‘one-hitter’ pipe for smoking marijuana along with 1.5 grams of marijuana. The Deputy asked Baker why she had a pipe and marijuana in her purse; she replied that those items belonged to someone else who had likely placed them in her purse because they believed she would get in trouble and get caught with them.
Baker refuses to provide a voluntary evidentiary blood sample to test the alcohol content of her blood, and so the Deputy applied for a warrant to obtain a sample of her blood. Baker was transported to the Shell Lake Emergency Room for the blood draw. The criminal complaint states that the Hon. Eugene D. Harrington met with the Deputy at the Shell Lake Emergency Room shortly after midnight to review the warrant, and the warrant was granted.
Five previous convictions of operating while intoxicated were listed in the criminal complaint filed against Baker: February 10, 1995 in Barron County Circuit Court; February 7, 2008 in Washburn County Circuit Court; April 27, 2010 in Rusk County Circuit Court; July 21, 2010 in Barron County Circuit Court; and March 30, 2011 in Barron County Circuit Court.
Baker is charged with Class G Felony Operating While Intoxicated - 6th Offense, for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. She is also charged with Misdemeanor Possession of THC (Marijuana), and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The maximum penalty for those misdemeanor charges is 9 months confinement in county jail, or a maximum fine of $500, or both.
Online circuit court records show that Baker is scheduled to make an Initial Appearance on her felony charges in June 2018. No details were listed as to any bail bond that Baker may or may not be subject to at this time.
Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.