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Driving drunk leads to prison

A Superior man will spend four years in prison for his seventh drunken driving conviction.

A Douglas County jury in April found Gary Allen Howen Jr., 46, guilty of his seventh offenses for operating while intoxicated and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration.

He was sentenced last week in Douglas County Circuit Court. In addition to the prison sentence, he faces four years of extended supervision, a $5,000 fine and 36-month driver's license revocation.

According to the criminal complaint:

Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Knutson clocked a vehicle going 102 mph in a 55-mph zone on County Highway E in Amnicon on Aug. 10, 2016. He activated his emergency lights and tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver made no attempt to slow down or stop.

After briefly losing sight of the vehicle, Knutson found it parked at the bottom of a hill on the KG Fireworks property. Howen was behind the wheel.

Knutson could smell a strong odor of alcohol from Howen, and the Superior man's speech was slurred. Howen admitted drinking "three beers" in Lake Nebagamon.

A blood test showed Howen had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.181, more than twice the legal limit to drive.