A 50-year-old Manitowoc man faces his seventh drunken driving offense after his arrest Sept. 29 in the village of Rochester.

The felony charge filed Monday in Racine County Circuit Court against Scott C. Smits carries a fine of $25,000 and 12 years, six months in prison.

Court records indicate that Smits has three previous DUI convictions in Manitowoc County, plus one each in Calumet and Marquette counties and in Georgia that date back to 1990.

According to the criminal complaint: A Racine County Sheriff’s Department deputy traveling south on Highway 36 at 1:15 a.m. observed the defendant’s vehicle deviate several times from his lane of traffic. The deputy also observed a broken brake light on the vehicle.
While speaking with Smits, the deputy detected a strong odor of intoxicants through the vehicle’s open door, along with slow and slurred speech, bloodshot and glassy eyes and a “sleepy” appearance.

Smits failed field sobriety tests, and a preliminary breath test revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.12. Because of his previous convictions, Smits has a legal alcohol restriction of 0.02.

The defendant, who made his initial court appearance Monday, will be back in court Oct. 10 for an 8:30 a.m. preliminary hearing.

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.