A motorist who allegedly cut off a Barron County Sheriff’s deputy at the intersection of Sixth Street and Division Avenue on Dec. 28, 2021, could face as much as six years in prison in connection with a charge of drunk driving, fourth offense, according to county Circuit Court records.

A complaint filed Wednesday, Dec. 29, identifies the defendant as Ronald E. Vermeland, 64, 380 E. Taylor Ave.

The complaint said a Barron County Sheriff’s deputy was in downtown Barron and going east on Division Ave., shortly before 12:30 p.m. Dec. 28, when he noticed a vehicle leave the Marathon gas station parking lot and turn to go east on Division.

As it did so, the vehicle “shot across both lanes of traffic,” directly in front of the deputy, who had his left turn blinker on and had honked his horn to warn the other driver of his presence.

Ignoring the officer, the suspect vehicle went in front of the deputy, who had to brake hard and swerve left to avoid a crash. The suspect then got out of his car, made an obscene gesture at the officer, and cursed him. The deputy made contact with the driver, who smelled of alcohol and said “he had one shot of Amaretto at lunch.”

The officer tried to administer a preliminary breath test, but the defendant didn’t blow into the tube, and the officer felt the defendant intentionally refused to blow into the device. He was arrested and taken to the Barron hospital for a blood test.

Records show Vermeland has three prior drunk driving convictions dating back to 1992.