Wausau wrong-way driver arrested on suspicion of 7th OWI

in News

By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A man who was pulled over after driving the wrong way on a one-way downtown Wausau street is facing his seventh drunken driving charge, according to court documents.

Lawrence “Larry” Jackson, 66, was out on bond for an open case of first degree sexual assault of a child younger than 13 at the time of his arrest Tuesday, April 23. He is now jailed on a $15,000 cash bond.

Police were notified at about 6:11 p.m. Tuesday to be on the lookout for a man in a black Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible who had been drinking before falling down and hitting his head in Rib Mountain, according to court filings. A Wausau Police officer spotted the vehicle about 30 minutes later and allegedly observed the driver turn from Humboldt Avenue northbound to Fifth Street, which is a one-way southbound street. Multiple cars were headed south on Fifth Street at the time, police said.

That’s when the officer activated his lights and sirens and pulled the vehicle over. The driver, later identified as Jackson, stepped out of the vehicle, urinated in his pants, was slurring his speech badly and had a laceration on his forehead, police said. Jackson told police he had “too much” to drink, was “feeling woozy,” and requested an ambulance, which was summoned.

Police say Jackson was disoriented, telling officers he was coming from his daughter’s home — but he couldn’t remember his daughter’s last name. Jackson did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of his arrest.

Jackson was then transported to Aspirus Wausau Hospital, where he allegedly failed field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test. Results of a chemical test of Jackson’s blood are pending.

Charges of seventh offense operating while intoxicated, bail jumping, and operating with a revoked license were filed Wednesday, April 24 in Marathon County Circuit Court against Jackson, of Wausau. He was also cited for driving against traffic, according to the police report.

Court records show Jackson’s prior OWI convictions were in 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2007.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for May 1.