Man found lying in Brown County ditch charged with 9th OWI

Thomas Haese

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Reedsville man has been charged with his 9th drunk driving offense after being found in a Brown County ditch.

On Nov. 12, a charge of OWI-9th Offense was filed against Thomas V. Haese, 73.

On November 10, at 1:22 p.m., a Brown County Sheriff's Office deputy was called to a report of a vehicle in a ditch at the northbound I-43 off ramp to Highway 96 in Denmark.

On the way, a dispatcher informed the deputy that "a male with purple hair was lying in the ditch unable to get up and who looked to be intoxicated," reads the criminal complaint.

The deputy arrived to find a tow truck removing a blue PT Cruiser with a "large amount of mud on the doors and windows."

The deputy found Thomas V. Haese in the ditch. "Thomas attempted to push his upper body up to sit upright, however he fell and laid back down," the deputy said.

The deputy described Haese's speech as slurred and an odor of intoxicants coming from him.

Thomas told the deputy he had two beers and "he probably shouldn't be driving."

The deputy had Haese to field sobriety tests, and based on those results, he placed Haese under arrest.

A witness told the deputy he saw Haese crash into the ditch. The witness ran over and attempted to help.

A search of Haese's vehicle turned up an "open/mostly empty" bottle of vodka in the glove compartment.

Haese declined to submit to a blood alcohol test, according to the complaint. Officers obtained a search warrant to get a blood draw.

Investigators say Haese has drunk driving arrests dating back to 1991. He was on probation from a 2014 OWI case in Manitowoc County. He pleaded no contest to a charge in that 2014 case and was sentenced to three years in state prison and five years on extended supervision.

Read the original version of this article at www.wbay.com.