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A one-car accident Nov. 23 led to the arrest of a 47-year-old Burlington woman for her sixth drunken driving offense.

The felony charge filed Monday in Racine County Circuit Court against Cynthia E. Johnsen carries a fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison.

Johnsen also is charged with a felony count of making a threat to a law enforcement officer, which carries a fine of $10,000 and six years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint: A Burlington police officer was dispatched to the 8100 block of McHenry Street at 5:30 p.m. for a report of an accident. Upon arrival, he located the defendant sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and smelled the odor of intoxicants. Johnsen stated she had not been drinking.

Police determined that Johnsen’s vehicle had left the roadway and traveled through a front yard, striking several items. The vehicle continued south, entered a row of trees and ripped several low branches from them, before it traveled down a steep embankment.

The vehicle then re-entered the roadway before it came to a stop on the west side of the road.

Johnsen, who ultimately admitted to having two drinks between 1 and 3 p.m., failed field sobriety tests. A portable breath test at the scene revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.16.

While in route to a hospital for a legal blood draw, Johnsen began yelling at the officer.
As the officer was taking Johnsen to the Racine County Jail, she stated, “I hope I don’t see you on the street.” When asked what that meant, she stated, “Because it will be ugly. I swear to God. You will have to answer to someone eventually.” Johnsen, although handcuffed, was able to remove her seatbelt and continued her belligerent speech.

Court records indicate the defendant has previous drunken driving convictions in 1991, 2003 and three in 2004. Johnsen made her initial court appearance Monday afternoon.

Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.