Johnnie M. Higgins, 40, of Wausau. Aug. 1, 2022: Fifth-offense OWI with a passenger younger than 16, bail jumping, operating while revoked, failure to install an ignition interlock device

By Shereen Siewert

A 40-year-old Wausau woman accused of driving drunk with two children in the vehicle is facing her sixth charge of operating while intoxicated, after a citizen reported witnessing erratic driving.

Johnnie Mae Higgins also faces charges of felony bail jumping and operating a vehicle while revoked in a case filed Aug. 1 in Marathon County Circuit Court. Her most recent prior OWI conviction was in 2016, court records show.

Police responded to an anonymous complaint at about 8:15 a.m. on July 30 reporting a woman driving a white SUV hitting curbs and weaving in and out of traffic. The caller, who gave police the suspect’s license plate number, said the driver failed to stop at a stop sign, then pulled into the Walmart parking lot and nearly struck a vehicle there, according to court documents.

When police arrived, the spoke with Higgins, who was behind the wheel of the SUV, who allegedly insisted she only moved the vehicle “a little bit,” court documents state. Officers tested a coffee mug in the center console near the front driver’s seat that gave a positive reaction for alcohol, and arrested Higgins on suspicion of drunken driving.

Two children, age 7 and 12, were allegedly in the vehicle when Higgins was driving to Walmart, and Higgins reportedly did not have a court-ordered ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle. Higgins refused a blood draw, but officers obtained a warrant for the test. Results are pending.

On Aug. 1, Circuit Judge Scott Corbett ordered Higgins held on a $5,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 10.