Probation plus jail time for woman convicted of 2nd OWI who led high-speed pursuit

Alyssa Stephens

MILWAUKEE -- A West Allis woman charged in connection with an April drunk driving incident and high-speed police pursuit was sentenced to probation plus jail time Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Alyssa Stephens, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of operator flee/elude officer, causing property damage, and one count of OWI, second offense.

She was sentenced to serve two years and six months in prison, and two years and six months' probation on the first count, which was stayed. Stephens was placed on probation for four years and ordered to serve nine months' straight time in the House of Correction.

She was sentenced to serve 75 days in the House of Correction on the second charge, to be served concurrently to the first.

Additionally, she was ordered to use an ignition interlock device for 18 months, and her license was revoked for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay a $350 fine at the end of probation.

Stephens also received a citation at the scene for refusing to take a test for intoxication after arrest. Her license was suspended for failure to pay in October, and online court records showed she failed to appear in court in June.

Online court records showed Stephens in January pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, as party to a crime, filed in August 2018 in Washington County. She was sentenced to three years' probation plus eight months' jail time in April. A Nov. 19 sentencing hearing was scheduled after her probation was revoked due to the April drunk driving incident.

According to the criminal complaint, a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy was on patrol on I-43 near E. Rosedale Avenue around 3 a.m. on April 22 when he noticed a car "driving on the interstate, weaving back and forth in its lane, and eventually driving into an adjacent lane." The deputy pulled next to the vehicle and signaled for the driver, later identified as Stephens, to pull over, which she did near 6th Street and Holt Avenue -- off the freeway.

The criminal complaint indicated the deputy "noticed (Stephens) smelled strongly like alcohol, and could smell the alcohol over the gum (Stephens) was chewing. (Stephens) also had red and glassy eyes." The deputy also noted Stephens "made confusing statements" and "could not tell him what time it was."

When the deputy went back to his squad, he learned Stephens had a revoked driver's license due to a previous OWI conviction. The deputy returned to the vehicle -- and noticed Stephens was on a video chat with her mother. The mom asked the deputy "why he believed (Stephens) was drinking." However, the deputy had not yet mentioned to Stephens that he suspected her of drinking. The deputy asked that the video chat be ended -- and ordered Stephens to step out of the car. At that point, Stephens "accelerated away from the traffic stop in an attempt to flee," the complaint said.

The deputy began to purse Stephens southbound on S. 6th Street. He noted she "increased her speed to approximately 100 mph" and later ran a red light at 6th Street and Layton Avenue. The deputy terminated the pursuit at that point.

A short time later,  the deputy found Stephens' vehicle crashed into a cable support at 6th Street and Edgerton Avenue. Stephens was no longer in the vehicle. But the deputy could hear "loud crying coming from the woods nearby the crash site." The deputy located Stephens and took her into custody.

The complaint said Stephens agreed to make a statement -- and she "indicated she was drinking 'a little bit' and had 'a couple drinks.'"

Stephens had previously been convicted of OWI in March 2017.