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Poplar man charged with sixth OWI after nearly hitting squad car

The incident occured Nov. 28 along County Highway P.

Douglas County Circuit Court Gavel 2
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wis.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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A Poplar man accused of operating while intoxicated for a sixth time after nearly colliding with a Douglas County Sheriff's Office squad car was bound over for arraignment Monday, Jan. 10, in Douglas County Circuit Court.

John Michael Olson, 53, faces one charge of fifth-or sixth-offense operating while intoxicated. Cash bond was set at $1,000, and Olson was ordered not to use or possess alcohol and not operate a motor vehicle without a valid permit or license.

A vehicle pulled out in front of a squad car driven by Deputy Cindy Strange along Douglas County P in the village of Poplar at about 11:19 p.m. Nov. 28, according to the criminal complaint.

Strange reported she was traveling northbound when the vehicle pulled out from the Gravel Pit Tavern, 5781 S. County Road P. She had to brake quickly to avoid a crash. The vehicle then sped up, going faster than the posted speed limit of 55 mph.

The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. She smelled intoxicants coming from the driver, identified as Olson, the criminal complaint said.

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His speech was slurred and he struggled to find his driver’s license. Olson showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests. He admitted to Strange he had “just a few” drinks and was “just trying to get home,” according to the criminal complaint. He said he sped up to avoid being rear-ended by the squad car.

Olson has five prior convictions for operating while intoxicated, according to the complaint. The most recent was for an incident that took place in Douglas County in 2009.

The class G felony carries a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. Olson’s next appearance was set for Feb. 28.

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