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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Wauwatosa OWI accident suspect had previous convictions

A repeat OWI offender is charged with causing a Wauwatosa multi-vehicle crash. Five cars were involved in the auto accident, which police said was the fault of a Milwaukee man, who drove drunk and possessed marijuana.

The affected drivers, including the 45-year-old accused man, were apparently unable to tell investigators how the chain-reaction crash happened. The Monday afternoon collision was not a fatal car accident. One victim was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Authorities said a witness saw events leading up to the accident. A driver in traffic said a car sped past her at up to 80 mph before slamming into a vehicle that was changing lanes.

The Milwaukee man charged with injury-causing, third-offense OWI later told investigators he had a 24-ounce beer before getting behind the wheel. Authorities said the suspect could not complete field sobriety tests.

The defendant's blood alcohol level registered 0.15, far exceeding the Wisconsin limit of 0.08. Police reported over four grams of marijuana were found on the suspect.

The Milwaukee man had been convicted twice since 2008 for OWI before the latest arrest. The most recent conviction was last year when the suspect was ordered to a 60-day jail term and one-year license suspension.

The defendant was required to place an ignition interlock system on his vehicle during the second year after the conviction. The car the man was driving at the time of the Wauwatosa crash had no interlock device.

A repeat offense conviction could send the Milwaukee suspect to prison for up to three years and impose a fine of $10,000.

Initial reports said no one was seriously hurt during the crash, although injuries sometimes appear days, weeks or months after an accident. The medical costs and wages lost during hospitalization or treatment are financial hardships for victims.

Civil courts allow plaintiffs to file personal injury complaints that help resolve economic damages caused by a negligent driver.

Source: wauwatosa.patch.com, "Man Charged with Causing 5-Car Crash While Intoxicated," Joe Petrie, Dec. 15, 2012

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