Wisconsin man charged with 18th OWI after crash, police say

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Wisconsin man accused of crashing his truck and knocking out power in Green Bay was charged with his 18th operating while intoxicated offense, authorities said.

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According to a criminal complaint, Wallace Carl Bowers, 74, of Green Bay, was arrested Friday. According to WLUK, it was Bowers’ first OWI arrest since 2011, but he has totaled 18 offenses since 1988.

Bowers was booked into the Brown County jail. Bail was set at $30,000, the television station reported. Bowers returns to court Jan. 29 for a balance of initial appearance.

The criminal complaint noted that Bowers was charged with OWI one time in 1988, four times in 1993, three times in 1994, two times in 1996, once each in 1997 and 1998, two times in 2000, and once each in 2003, 2005 and 2011.

Bowers’ license was suspended after his last OWI arrest on Oct. 1, 2011, according to WBAY.

“I am frankly shocked that someone with 15 prior OWI arrests is still driving,” Green Bay police Chief Andrew Smith stated in a news release. “Drunk driving is an avoidable tragedy, one that kills too many innocent lives every year. We are committed to eliminate drunk driving in Green Bay through education and vigorous enforcement, and we need everyone to work together to solve this problem.”

The complaint states that police were responding to a report of a transformer blowing up and learned about a vehicle hitting a power pole shortly after 12:30 a.m., WBAY reported.

Power lines were on Bowers’ truck and were sparking, according to the criminal complaint. When officers got Bowers out of his truck, he allegedly admitted to drinking two beers.

Officers were unable to conduct a field sobriety report because of Bowers’ prosthetic leg, the complaint stated. When officers took Bowers to an area hospital to draw blood, he allegedly became agitated and his prosthetic leg became detached.

Bowers refused a blood draw, so police obtained a search warrant from a Brown County judge, WBAY reported.

The crash caused power outages for more than 3,200 homes in the area, the television station reported.

Bowers was also cited for operating without minimum insurance, according to WBAY.

“Please, be the designated driver, use a taxi or rideshare, or call for a safe ride through the Brown County Tavern League,” Smith said in the news release. “We need to work together to make sure drunk driving stops in Green Bay.”

Bowers is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 29, WLUK reported.