Michelle K. Halsted, 50, of Wausau. Jan. 6, 2021: Fifth-offense OWI, hit and run, operating while revoked, tampering with or failure to install an ignition interlock device

By Shereen Siewert

A 40-year-old woman accused of crashing into a moving box truck in downtown Wausau this month is facing multiple criminal charges, after police say she was drunk behind the wheel of her van.

Michelle Halsted, of Wausau, faces charges of fifth-offense drunken driving, hit and run, driving with a revoked license and failing to install a court-ordered ignition interlock device. The charges were filed Jan. 6 in Marathon County Circuit Court, one day after the crash.

Police were called at about 9 a.m. on Jan. 5 after a man reported he was driving southbound on Fifth Street in downtown Wausau when another driver failed to stop at a stop sign at Grant Street and struck his vehicle, causing significant damage. A responding officer discovered a Honda van parked in a downtown Wausau lot with damage to the front driver’s side, according to an incident report. Auto parts were scattered next to the van, which appeared to also have struck a utility pole in the parking lot, police said.

Officers traced the van driver to a downtown store and identified her as Halsted, according to court documents. A preliminary breath test taken at about 10 a.m. showed Halsted had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent, ten times the 0.02 percent restriction imposed on her due to her four prior drunken driving convictions.

Police say Halsted did not have a court-ordered ignition interlock device installed in the van.

During an initial appearance Jan. 6, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered Halsted held on a $25,000 signature bond with the first $1,500 to be paid in cash. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 18.

Halsted remains behind bars as of Jan. 11.