A reported domestic incident at a Superior residence Halloween morning led to a traffic stop and allegations of an eighth drunken driving offense against the driver.
Brian Joseph Blanchard, 51, of Superior faces one count of eighth offense operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and misdemeanor counts of battery, operating while revoked and operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock. He waived his preliminary hearing Nov. 6 in Douglas County Circuit Court.
Blanchard remained in custody at the Douglas County Jail on Thursday, Nov. 14, on a $5,000 cash bond. His next court appearance was set for Jan. 17.
Officer Ronald Robinson of the Superior Police Department responded to the domestic incident Oct. 31 and made the traffic stop based on probable cause, according to the criminal complaint. The reported victim said Blanchard had become angry at a remark she made, grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the bed at a Winter Street residence. He then left in a vehicle.
At the time of the arrest, Blanchard was on probation for an operating while intoxicated conviction out of Bayfield County. His license was revoked and he was required to have an ignition interlock installed in his vehicle. None was present.
Robinson arrested Blanchard and, when arriving at the jail, smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him. The officer observed Blanchard’s eyes were red and glassy.
Blanchard repeatedly declined to participate in standard field sobriety testing and didn't respond to requests for a blood draw, so a search warrant was signed.
According to the criminal complaint, Blanchard has seven previous convictions for operating while intoxicated out of Douglas, Ashland and Bayfield counties as well as St. Louis and Hennepin counties in Minnesota. If convicted, the felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 and a half years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.