A 46-year-old Gleason man is free on a $1,000 signature bond after being charged with his 4th OWI offense.
According to court documents, a Lincoln County Deputy stopped to check on motorist who’s vehicle was in the ditch on County Highway X near County Highway J about 15 miles northeast of Merrill. The deputy said the vehicle was in the ditch and in the reverse position based on its rear lights. The deputy said the driver was slumped to the side but was breathing. The incident happened during the early morning hours of August 1.
The deputy knocked on the window and yelled to the driver to wake up. That’s when the deputy said the driver stepped on the gas pedal, however the vehicle did not move only spinning the tires. According to the incident report, the driver then put the car in drive and again floored the gas pedal. The vehicle did not move, due to being stuck in the ditch.
The deputy said the driver refused to due sobriety test, but simply stated, “I’m drunk”. The driver, identified by officers as Robert Bathke, did submit to a preliminary breath test. Investigators say Bathke blew a .259; more than three time over the legal limited for driving.
In Wisconsin, 4th Offense OWI is a misdemeanor, meaning Bathke was able to enter a not guilty plea at his initial appearance. He’ll return to court August 21 for a clerical court appearance.
Bathke’s last OWI conviction was in Waukesha County in 2005.
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