Milwaukee County's 'Operation Drive Sober' nets 20+ drunk driving arrests

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office increased patrols for drunk driving over the New Year's holiday weekend. Those patrols resulted in the arrest of more than 20 drunken drivers -- including 14 first-time offenders.

Operation Drive Sober was conducted from 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 through 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1. The average preliminary breath test (PBT) of those arrested was .16 -- or twice the legal limit. Of note, there were two cases in which the person pulled over was arrested for OWI-fifth offense.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, a deputy pulled over a 36-year-old Milwaukee man traveling northbound on I-43 near the Marquette Interchange. The driver passed the marked squad traveling at 100 miles per hour -- and exited at McKinley Avenue. The vehicle eventually stopped at 14th and Walnut. Officials said the 36-year-old man showed signs of intoxication, and performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests. His PBT was .232 -- or nearly three times the legal limit. If convicted on the OWI-fifth offense charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

On Monday, Dec. 31, a deputy pulled over a 35-year-old Port Washington man. Officials said the driver was spotted making an unsafe lane deviation at a high rate of speed, estimated at 80 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone on southbound I-43 near Locust Street. The driver tested a .18 on a PBT and had a suspended driver’s license. He told the deputy he drank a six-pack of beer. This driver also faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Also of note, a 60-year-old Milwaukee man was cited for OWI-fourth offense. He told a deputy he had been drinking champagne while watching football games.

In a separate incident, a 27-year-old Milwaukee woman was cited for OWI-first offense with minor child in vehicle. The woman told the deputy she drank three shots of alcohol. Her PBT was .145. A 6-month-old infant was in the back seat of the car -- and turned over to a relative.