Sentenced: Man who pleaded no contest to 12th OWI to spend 7.5 years in prison

RACINE COUNTY (WITI) -- A Racine County judge sentenced 52-year-old Todd Lowery of Appleton on Monday, May 18th to seven-and-a-half years in prison and another five years of extended supervision.

Lowery pleaded not contest in March to his 12th OWI offense. This, after police found him stuck in a snowy ditch in February.

A criminal complaint filed against Lowery says shortly after 1:00 a.m. on February 3rd, a Racine County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol, headed westbound on State Highway 11 near Gehrand Court in the Town of Yorkville came upon a vehicle stuck in the ditch on the south side of State Highway 11. The driver exited the vehicle and approached the squad car. That driver was identified as Lowery.

The deputy observed Lowery stumbling into the eastbound lane of traffic. The deputy was forced to steady him and direct him to the shoulder of the road.

The complaint indicates the deputy observed a strong odor of intoxicants coming from Lowery’s person, and his eyes were observed to be glassy and bloodshot.

Lowery told the deputy he was “just out for a drive” — saying he had consumed alcohol, but he was “fine.”

The deputy learned that Lowery had a passenger in his vehicle, who told the deputy Lowery had been driving, but Lowery told the deputy his passenger had been driving. The deputy observed that passenger also appeared to be intoxicated, though she told him she only had “one drink.”

The complaint says Lowery told the deputy his passenger had driven the car into the ditch, and that “he was only trying to get the vehicle unstuck.”