Caledonia OWI, Milwaukee man charged with 3rd offense

James Fuerstenau

A Milwaukee man is charged with operating while under the influence – third offense – after allegedly admitted to drinking while driving on Tuesday, July 12.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old James Fuerstenau had open beer cans in his SUV at the time of his arrest. He is also charged with driving with a revoked driver's license due to his prior OWI convictions, as well as misdemeanor bail jumping.

A Racine County sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop on an SUV reported for reckless driving near 7 Mile Road Interstate 41/94 in Caledonia. As deputies approached the SUV, the driver, since identified as Fuerstenau, dropped his keys out of the window and got out before being told to do so. 

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A criminal complaint states deputies smelled the "strong odor" of intoxicants coming from Fuerstenau. Asked if there was a reason for that, Fuerstenau allegedly admitted that he "had a couple after work." In the SUV, deputies found an open can of Four Loko and three open cans of Natural Ice beer. A breathalyzer test found he had a .197 BAC.

The complaint states Fuerstenau was driving on a revoked driver's license due to a prior OWI conviction and had active warrants out for his arrest. He was taken into custody.

Racine County Sheriff

Once in custody, per the complaint, Fuerstenau admitted to using cocaine and smoking marijuana earlier in the day, too. He also admitted to drinking what was found in the SUV while he was driving and said: "I was drinking and driving." The complaint also states he told deputies he had been drinking since he was 9 years old and that he "drinks alcohol like it is coffee."

Fuerstenau made his initial court appearance on July 13, his cash bond set at $1,000. He is due back in court in September.