Dustin L. Heffner

Dustin L. Heffner

A Rice Lake man will serve three months in jail – and can avoid a much longer term behind bars if he abides by conditions of probation – after he was sentenced in connection with his fourth drunk driving conviction Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in Barron County Circuit Court.

Court records said Dustin Lee Heffner, 28, 132 W. Douglas St., Rice Lake, pleaded guilty to the felony drunk driving charge on June 4. Two other charges were dismissed but read into the record as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

According to a criminal complaint filed Jan. 7, 2019, Heffner was driving a truck seen by a Rice Lake officer on patrol shortly before 3 a.m. Jan. 5. The truck didn’t have its headlights on when it stopped at a traffic light.

When the “light turned green, the truck accelerated rapidly, turned onto another street and parked at an angle with the front of the vehicle in the lane of traffic (even though) the area has a wide roadway with plenty of parking including marked spots.”

Uncooperative at first, the driver eventually identified himself, the complaint said. Records showed he had prior drunk driving convictions and wasn’t supposed to drive with a blood alcohol level over .02

The complaint said Heffner declined a field sobriety test and told the officer: “I’m not going to play your games.”

He allegedly refused to give a breath sample and wanted to be taken to the hospital for a blood test.

At the plea hearing June 4, the court noted Heffner had a blood alcohol level of .257 when he was arrested – more than three times the state’s legal limit of intoxication.

The court put Heffner on probation for three years, imposed a lifetime revocation of his driving privileges, and fined him $600. Heffner can avoid a 350-day jail sentence if he abides by conditions of probation, court records said