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Hawthorne man charged with 6th offense OWI

A preliminary breath test registered a breath alcohol concentration of 0.16

Douglas County, Wis., Courtroom
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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A Hawthorne man accused of driving while intoxicated for a sixth time waived his preliminary hearing in Douglas County Circuit Court Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Scott Robert Wermter, 47, faces felony counts of sixth-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and bail jumping. Cash bail of $2,500 was set for Wermter, and he was ordered not to use or possess alcohol and not to operate a motor vehicle without a valid license or permit.

Deputy Justin McIntosh with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of S. Klang Road and E. Town Line Road in Bennett Dec. 3. He found a truck parked and running with Wermter in the driver’s seat. Speaking with Wermter through the driver's window, McIntosh could smell a strong odor of intoxicants, according to the criminal complaint. The Hawthorne man’s speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, the complaint said. When he exited the vehicle, he was unsteady on his feet. A number of unopened cans of beer were found in the vehicle.

Wermter told the deputy that he was driving home from work in Superior. He said that he had been feeding the deer at a residence down the road and that he had stopped to make a call. He admitted drinking one beer while feeding the deer.

Wermter exhibited signs of impairment on a number of field sobriety tests and registered an alcohol concentration of 0.16 on a preliminary breath test.

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Scott Wermter.jpg
Scott Wermter

The Hawthorne man has five prior convictions for operating while intoxicated, the most recent in 2010. He has an additional open case in Douglas County in which he faces counts of sixth-offense operating while intoxicated, sixth-offense operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration and resisting or obstructing an officer for an incident in March. As a condition of his bail in that case, Wermter was ordered not to possess or use any alcoholic beverages.

The operating while under the influence charge, a class G felony, carries a maximum penalty of 10 year imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. Wermter’s next court appearance in both cases was set for Jan. 31.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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