Racine police say the 36-year-old man who caused an accident Friday that injured his girlfriend is facing over a decade behind bars because he was drunk.

Joseph Pirk, of Racine, was charged Tuesday in Racine County Circuit Court was one felony count of intoxicated use of a vehicle to cause great bodily harm. If convicted, he faces up to 12-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called at 8:46 p.m. Friday to the intersection of West Blvd. and Olive Street for a report of a car accident with one victim trapped. When officers and crews from the Racine Fire Department arrived on scene, they observed a Chevy Blazer that appeared to have been traveling south on West when it crashed into a parked Ford Super Duty truck.

Police say Pirk was standing outside the SUV and holding the hand of the female passenger trapped inside. He told officers the woman was his girlfriend and admitted he was the one driving at the time of the accident. Pirk appeared intoxicated because he was having trouble staying upright and slurring his words.

The woman was extricated and transported to Ascension All Saint’s where it was determined she suffered a dislocated hip as well as lacerations to her face and her leg, the complaint reads. She told officers that she and Pirk had been drinking vodka and smoked marijuana two hours before the accident.

Officers say Pirk was also transported to the hospital in an ambulance, and they could smell the strong odor of intoxicants during the trip to the emergency room. Medical personnel stated they would not clear Pirk until he sobered up so he could be booked.

He remains in the Racine County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond and will next be in court Oct. 12 for his preliminary hearing.

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