Racine County drunk driving arrest; open intoxicants, guns in truck

A 34-year-old man from Burlington was arrested on several offenses, including an OWI and possessing a short-barreled shotgun in Racine County, on Saturday morning, Feb. 5.

A sheriff's deputy patrolling in a squad car saw a truck traveling southbound on STH 36 in the village of Waterford around 2:30 a.m. The truck moved in and out of its lane multiple times. The truck turned eastbound on North English Settlement Avenue on County Highway J and sped up to 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The deputy was about to stop the truck when the truck pulled off the roadway onto the shoulder and stopped. The deputy pulled behind the truck and activated its emergency lights.

Christopher D. Rice

The deputy identified the driver of the truck as Christopher D. Rice. There was a 36-year-old man passenger in the truck. Rice partially opened the window, and the deputy smelled intoxicant inside the truck. The deputy noted that Rice had slurred speech, and his eyes were red and glassy. Rice denied he consumed any alcohol.

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Back-up arrived, and the deputies instructed Rice to step out of the truck. Rice refused to follow the commands. The deputies informed Rice that he was under arrest for obstruction, but he still refused to leave the truck. Over 20 more commands were given to Rice to exit the truck, but he refused.

The deputies requested the passenger to step out of the truck. The passenger complied, and the deputies saw an open intoxicant within the truck.

Once the passenger was outside the truck, Rice got out of the truck. The deputies saw additional open intoxicants within the truck. The deputies arrested Rice, searched him, and found two handguns on Rice – a loaded .22 caliber revolver in his front pocket and a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer P365 strapped around his ankle. Rice admitted to the deputies that there were more firearms inside his truck.

Firearms in Rice car

The deputies searched Rice's truck and located the following:

  • Two open bottles of beer
  • A loaded Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic handgun
  • A loaded sawed-off short barreled Black Aces 12-gauge shotgun
  • Multiple rounds of ammunition

Deputies took Rice to the hospital, but he refused to undergo standardized field sobriety tests or give a blood sample. The deputies drafted a search warrant for a blood draw, and a judge signed it. After obtaining a sample of Rice's blood, the deputies transported Rice to the Racine County Jail, where he was held on a 12-hour hold and a $6,300 bail for the following offenses:

  • Operating While Intoxicated 1st
  • Obstructing
  • Possession of a short-barreled shotgun
  • Armed while intoxicated

Sheriff Christopher Schmaling stated, 

"This year, the Sheriff's Office has already conducted 45 investigations regarding impaired drivers. This case is even more aggravated because the suspect was armed with multiple loaded weapons, and he did not comply with the deputy's lawful commands. Know this: The Sheriff's Office is ever on the hunt for impaired drivers – if you decide to endanger the public by operating a vehicle while impaired, we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will take you to jail."