Charges were filed against a woman after she drove drunk, crashed her car into a home, and injured a passenger.

Michelle Kirchoff, 48, of Racine, was charged with causing injury while driving drunk and first degree recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, she faces up to 13 years in prison and/or fined up to $27,000.

The crash caused “major fire and structural damage to the home,” according to a press release from RFD Lt. Bedros Ohanian. The residents of the home were asleep at the time of the accident but exited the house without injury.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police officers responded to a call that a car struck a home at 3401 Victory Avenue and it was on fire at 1:44 a.m. April 16. When officers arrived, Kirchoff and a male passenger in the car appeared to have been drinking alcohol as they slurred their words.

A witness told police that he saw a car driving “at least 80” mph and it was “bouncing off curbs.” Another witness said she heard the sound of loud bang and saw the car crash into the home. The male passenger got out of the driver’s side of the car. At first officers thought he was the driver, but that turned out not to be accurate after Kirchoff told them she was driving the car.

The male passenger suffered injuries to his chest abdomen, thumb, knees and leg.

He told police that Kirchoff was “definitely going faster than 25 mph.”

Kirchoff refused to take a breathalyzer test, but a blood sample was taken at the hospital.

At an initial appearance held Wednesday, bond was set at $4,000 and a preliminary hearing was set for 9 a.m. May 25 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.