By Shereen Siewert
A 21-year-old woman is accused of driving drunk with her three small children inside the vehicle, then abandoning them at a Wausau gas station, according to court documents.
Alana Raymond, of Port Edwards, appeared Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court on three counts of first-offense drunken driving with a passenger younger than 13, three counts of child neglect and three counts of felony child abandonment. Raymond, formerly of Wausau, is also facing a charge of bail jumping connected to a case in which she reached a plea agreement on battery and disorderly conduct charges that resulted in a year of probation.
The latest charges stem from an early morning arrest Dec. 23, when police responded to a report of a parked vehicle with three small children inside at a gas station on Grand Avenue in Wausau. All three children were sleeping in car seats; the vehicle was left with its lights on and keys in the ignition but was not running, court documents state.
An employee at the gas station told police the car had been in the lot for between 30 and 45 minutes before police arrived.
Officers reviewed surveillance video that showed the driver pull the vehicle into the parking lot, park, and get into a waiting vehicle.
Another officer located a woman matching the description of the driver who flagged the officer down to say she was lost. That woman, later identified as Raymond, initially denied having a vehicle in the parking lot and allegedly told police she was waiting for a friend to pick her up.
Raymond underwent field sobriety tests before agreeing to a breath sample and chemical test of her blood. After an officer read her her rights, the officer asked Raymond if she would willingly answer questions, to which she allegedly replied, “Nope, not gonna answer shit.”
Court records show a preliminary breath test showed Raymond had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.228 percent, nearly three times the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving.
During an initial appearance Monday, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered Raymond held on a $5,000 bond with the first $500 to be paid in cash. She was also ordered to have no contact with her three children without the consent of Social Services. In addition, Strasser ordered Raymond to maintain absolute sobriety and refrain from entering any taverns while her case moves through the system.
As of Monday afternoon, Raymond remained in the Marathon County Jail. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 13.
If she is convicted on the latest charges, she could also be re-sentenced for the earlier case, for which she received a deferred sentencing.