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Woman guilty of driving drunk in wrong lane on Interstate 43

Surges (click for larger version)
May 20, 2014 | 01:13 PM
ELKHORN — A 27-year-old Milwaukee woman pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety after she drove her car drunk on the wrong side of Interstate 43.

Amy M. Surges also pleaded guilty to second offense drunken driving.

Surges was sentenced to three years of probation, which includes nine months in the county jail with work-release privileges.

She also must attend a victim impact panel, pay a $450 fine and her driver’s license will be revoked for the next 16 months. An ignition interlock will also be installed in her vehicle at that time.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 2, at 12:58 a.m., a village of East Troy police officer saw a white van traveling the wrong way on I-43.

A town of East Troy officer began traveling south on I-43 in an effort to locate the van, and the officer saw the van driving north in the southbound lane.

The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and shined a spotlight on the driver. However, the van didn’t slow down and continued traveling north in the southbound lane at about 65 mph.

The officer followed the van for about one-fifth of a mile. As the officer followed the van, he noticed it weave in its lane and cross the fog line. When the van stopped, the officer noticed there were no license plates on the vehicle.

Surges was identified as the driver of the van, and she told the officer she had two beers at a Waukesha bar.

She told the officer she thought she was on Interstate 94, near Waukesha. She said she wasn’t aware that she was driving in the wrong lane.

When exiting the vehicle, Surges was unable to find the car door handle. The officer opened the door from outside of the vehicle, and Surges nearly fell to the ground while exiting her van. The officer reports he had to walk next to Surges to prevent her from falling into traffic.

The officer reports that field sobriety tests showed “impairment in addition to the above-stated observations.” A preliminary Breathalyzer test indicated that Surges blood alcohol level was 0.17, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Surges has a prior drunken driving conviction from 2007.

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