BURNETT COUNTY -- A traffic stop in the Village of Siren, WI has resulted in charges of 7th Offense Operating While Intoxicated for Ronald Hart, age 72, of Webster, WI.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Hart, on February 27, 2019, a Siren Police Officer saw a vehicle traveling nearly 20 miles an hours over the speed limit in a 30 mile per hour speed limit zone. The Officer noticed that although it was getting dark outside, the vehicle did not have its headlights turned on.

The Officer conducted a traffic stop and after traveling a short distance, the vehicle did slow down and then stopped; however, the vehicle stopped in the roadway. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Ronald Hart. When the Officer asked Hart why he stopped in the roadway, Hart began to laugh and then apologized. Hart allegedly told the Officer that he was on his way to pick someone up.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that inside the vehicle the Officer saw an opened twelve pack of Miller Genuine Draft. When the Officer asked how much Hart had to drink, Hart allegedly said, “Enough”.

Officers checked Hart’s driver’s license record and confirmed that he had been convicted of OWI on six other occasions dating back to 1998 with his most recent conviction occurring in 2011. Hart’s driver’s license was also revoked.

Officers on scene told Hart that they were going to take him to a climate controlled environment to conduct field sobriety testing, however Hart declined to take field sobriety testing. The criminal complaint states that Hart did consent to an evidentiary blood draw. The results of any blood testing were not included with the criminal complaint at the time of this post.

The Officer noted that Hart was presenting concerning medical symptoms while at the hospital and so had the hospital staff observe Hart and medically clear him prior to transporting Hart to the Burnett County Jail.

Hart is charged with Class F Felony 7th Offense OWI and Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked. The maximum penalty for a conviction of 7th Offense OWI is 12 years and 6 months confinement in state prison with a minimum sentence of 3 years in state prison, according to the criminal complaint.

Online circuit court records show that Hart is scheduled to have an initial appearance in Burnett County Circuit Court on March 13, 2019 regarding his criminal charges.

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.


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