A Wisconsin Rapids man will serve time in the Barron County Jail until the end of September 2019 after he pleaded guilty to a felony drunk driving charge earlier this month in Barron County Circuit Court.
Besides being ordered to serve a 60-day jail term, David R. Wenger, 56, was also fined $2,577 and lost his driver’s license for 30 months, according to records of an Aug. 16, 2019, plea hearing.
He was arrested last October at Barron when a city officer found him at the wheel of a vehicle parked at the Barron Kwik Trip.
A store employee told police the vehicle had been parked at the gas pump for so long, the cash register was giving a gas drive-off alert.
The complaint said Wenger told the officer he couldn’t find his credit card to pay for gas. The officer found the card sitting on the rear windshield of Wenger’s vehicle. He retrieved it and accompanied Wenger into the store to pay for the gas he had pumped.
There was an alcohol odor in the vehicle and the defendant allegedly admitted he’d been drinking, but he refused to take a breath test. He then allegedly consented to a blood draw but later withdrew the consent, requiring the officer to get a warrant.
Records showed Wenger had three prior drunk driving convictions in 2000, 2009 and 2012, and was not to drive with a blood alcohol content above .05.
Drunk driving, fourth offense (within a period of 15 years) has been a felony in Wisconsin since March 2018, after a bill enacted by the Legislature was signed by then-Gov. Scott Walker.