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Wausau woman faces 5th OWI after Kwik Trip confrontation

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A complaint about a 41-year-old woman allegedly trying to get three juveniles to get in her vehicle at a Wausau Kwik Trip led to her arrest on felony drunken driving charges.

Sara Jo Carmichael, of Wausau, is behind bars Wednesday on a $5,000 cash bond. She faces charges of fifth offense operating while intoxicated and of driving with a revoked license. The charges were filed June 3 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Police were called at 10:28 p.m. on Friday, May 31, to the Kwik Trip on Wausau Avenue for a report of a suspicious circumstances incident involving three children ages 11, 12 and 14. The children told an employee at the store that a woman in her 40s were yelling at them and telling them to “get in the vehicle,” according to the police report.

The employee confronted the woman, who then drove off — but not before the employee took down the pickup’s license plate number.

Police used the plate number to locate Carmichael at her Gowen Street home, where she appeared “obviously intoxicated” and had balance issues standing and walking, according to court records. Carmichael initially claimed she was with someone named “Steve,” who was driving the pickup, police said. But the three children confirmed Carmichael was behind the wheel, an allegation solidified through surveillance video, court records show.

Carmichael allegedly refused sobriety tests and was taken to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for a chemical test of her blood, the results of which are pending.

Court records show Carmichael did not have a valid driver’s license and has four prior OWI convictions: one in 2013 and three in 2014.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 12.

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