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UNION GROVE – A man walking home after driving his car into a ditch now faces his fifth drunk driving charge, according to court records.

Joel M. Bowman, 49, was charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (5th offense) with a prohibited blood-alcohol level enhancer, according to a ​criminal complaint filed on Monday in ​Racine County Circuit Court​.

Racine County Sheriff’s​ Deputy Kevin Turkowski responded to a 911 call in the ​Village of Yorkville​ on Saturday, Feb. 6th. The male caller told the dispatcher he was walking home after driving his car into a ditch. Turkowski approached the caller and asked if he was OK, according to the complaint.

The man – subsequently identified as Bowman – told Turkowski he was walking home but was cold.

Turkowski let Bowman get in his patrol car and drove him back to where Bowman’s ​car was in the ditch. During the ride, Turkowski said Bowman had glossy eyes and slurred speech. Bowman also admitted to having three drinks at a friend’s house, according to the complaint.

Past drunk driving convictions

Turkowski checked Bowman’s background and found that he had convictions for operating while intoxicated in two states. Further, one in Milwaukee on March 22, 2016, and three in Arizona on Feb. 6, 1992, April 13, 1992, and July 20, 1999. Bowman was also under restrictions to a blood-alcohol content of .02 percent as a result of his prior convictions, according to the complaint.

Turkowski administered a horizontal gaze nystagmus test and a walk and turn test, which resulted in multiple indicators of intoxication. Turkowski asked Bowman to take a breath-based blood alcohol level test. Bowman told him he was likely to be over the .02 limit. Lastly, Turkowski took Bowman to a hospital for a blood test.

Bowman remained in Racine County Jail Tuesday on a $2,500 cash bond, according to the jail inmate locator.

Since this is Bowman’s fifth drunk driving charge, he faces a maximum fine of $25,000 and ten years incarceration upon conviction, according to the complaint.

The preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. on February 18th, according to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website.


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