By Shereen Siewert

A 59-year-old Adams man who allegedly struck a power pole and caused a homeowner to lose power is facing his 12th drunken driving charge, according to police.

The crash and subsequent arrest happened at about 8 p.m. Saturday in the Dane County town of Albion.

According to the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, a caller reported seeing a GMC Sierra traveling at a high rate of speed on County Hwy. A near County Hwy. X. A second caller reported hearing a loud crash before power was knocked out at her home, police said.

When deputies arrived, they discovered a damaged utility pole and a white pickup with body damage nearby.

Police say Jeffrey J. Varnes, who was allegedly driving the pickup at the time of the crash and attempted to flee the area, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. He was arrested on preliminary charges of 12th offense OWI and was cited for having open intoxicants in the vehicle and for hit and run.

Blood test results are pending.

Court records show Varnes was cited just days earlier in Columbia County for driving without insurance.

Varnes was last convicted of OWI in 2012, according to online court records. He was discharged from extended supervision in October.

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