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Baldwin man charged with seventh OWI offense

A Baldwin man was charged with his seventh drunken-driving offense last week in St. Croix County Circuit Court after allegedly driving with more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

Gerald M. Krear, 56, was charged April 4 with one count of OWI-seventh offense — a felony — and a misdemeanor count of operating while revoked. St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell ordered Krear to post a $2,500 cash bond at his initial court appearance.

According to a criminal complaint, St. Croix County deputies were alerted at 12:57 p.m. April 2 by a relative of Krear’s who reported he was drunk and drove away from his home.

Deputies searched the surrounding area and found a vehicle matching the description given by the complainant across the street from Ras’ on Main in Hammond. A deputy allegedly watched Krear walk out of the establishment.

The deputy watched Krear as he allegedly got in the vehicle and drove to the Parkside Restaurant in Hammond, where a traffic stop was conducted.

Krear allegedly got out of the vehicle and quickly walked toward the restaurant before being ordered to stop.

“The suspect stopped, turned around with his hand up in the air and stated, ‘OK, OK,’” the complaint states.

Asked by the deputy how much he had to drink, Krear allegedly admitted to consuming “three or five beers.” The deputy reported Krear’s speech was slurred.

An open beer can was spotted in the center console of the vehicle Krear was driving, according to the complaint.

The deputy had Krear perform various field sobriety tests, some of which he allegedly failed.

According to the complaint, a preliminary breath test revealed a 0.244 blood-alcohol content — three times the amount of Wisconsin’s limit for drivers.

Conviction records list Krear’s first OWI offense dating back to 1990.

A preliminary hearing in the case was held April 13.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072
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