A Woodville man pleaded not guilty to a seventh OWI offense last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
Joseph A. Lynum, 43, entered the plea to the offense and a misdemeanor charge of driving while revoked during his Friday, Dec. 29, arraignment hearing. He faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
According to a criminal complaint: A St. Croix County sheriff's deputy checked the license plate information of an unoccupied vehicle left running at 11:49 p.m. Dec. 17 outside the Baldwin Kwik Trip. The check revealed the vehicle's registered owner, Lynum, was revoked.
The deputy then watched from a distance as the driver got back inside and left the area on Highway 63. At one point, the vehicle stopped for up to 40 seconds at a stop sign - at an intersection where there was no traffic. The deputy noted that after the vehicle resumed driving, it was operating about 15 mph below the speed limit, which prompted the deputy to pull the driver over.
The driver, identified as Lynum, pulled into the Phoenix Bar & Grill parking lot, where the deputy reported smelling alcohol coming from the man. Lynum, whose eyes were described as glossy and bloodshot, had an open can of Coors Light in the vehicle's cup holder.
Lynum admitted to having "a couple of beers" but refused to perform field-sobriety exercises or submit to a preliminary breath test. Instead, he pleaded with the deputy to let him go, saying he was headed to prison otherwise.
He was then arrested and taken to Hudson Hospital for a blood draw before being jailed.
According to a summary of convictions attached to the complaint, Lynum's first OWI conviction was from 1999. His most recent conviction was in 2013.
Wisconsin court records indicate Lynum has an open felony battery case in Dunn County that stemmed from a May 2017 incident. His criminal history includes a felony sexual assault conviction from 2000 when he was a New Richmond resident.
Lynum returns to court Jan. 25 for a motion hearing.