18th OWI arrest for driver accused of knocking out Green Bay power
Police have identified the man as Wallace C. Bowers, 74, Green Bay.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A criminal complaint filed Friday, hours after a crash knocked out power to part of Green Bay’s east side, says the driver involved has been charged 17 times before for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
Earlier, Green Bay police said Wallace C. Bowers,74, of Green Bay, was arrested for his 16th OWI offense. Prosecutors say he has OWI convictions dating back to April, 1988. He had two more in 1993; five in 1994 -- including two arrests two weeks apart; 1996; two in 1997; another in 1998; two in 2000; another in 2003; and again in 2008. His license was suspended after his last OWI arrest in October, 2011.
“I am frankly shocked that someone with 15 prior OWI arrests is still driving,” said Police Chief Andrew Smith. “Drunk driving is an avoidable tragedy, one that kills too many innocent lives every year. We are committed to eliminate drunk driving in Green Bay through education and vigorous enforcement, and we need everyone to work together to solve this problem. Please, be the designated driver, use a taxi or ride share, or call for a safe ride through the Brown County Tavern League. We need to work together to make sure drunk driving stops in Green Bay.”
The complaint states police were responding to a report of a transformer blowing up on Ricky Lane when they learned about a vehicle hitting a power pole at E. Mason and Bader Street. Power lines were on Bowers’ truck, arcing and sparking.
Officers were able to get Bowers out of his truck. An officer described a “strong ordor of intoxicants” and Bowers admitted to drinking two beers. He wasn’t able to walk because his prosethetic leg became detached, so police were limited in their field sobriety tests. They took him to a hospital to be checked for his injuries and informed him they would be doing a blood draw. Officers described Wallace as “extremely agitated” and that he insisted on trying to leave the room. He continued to ignore officers’ warnings and was handcuffed to the hospital bed. He didn’t agree to the blood draw, so police obtained a search warrant from a Brown County judge.
A passenger in the other car told police they were going east on Mason Street when a lime green truck came up behind them at a fast rate of speed. She said it appeared the truck hit a patch of snow or ice, causing the driver to lose control and go off the road.
About 3,200 WPS customers lost power. A few people are still without power at the time of this writing.
Police closed East Mason Street remained just east of Main Street while crews repaired the damaged pole.
Bowers was also cited for operating without minimum insurance.
Utility crews have restored power to thousands of people on Green Bay’s east side after a crash early Friday morning. A few dozen remain without power several hours after the crash.
The crash damaged utility equipment near E. Mason Street and Main Street about 12:30 a.m.
Green Bay police say E. Mason is closed between Lime Kiln Rd. and East Town Way. Diane St. is also shut down between E. Mason St. and August St. There’s a temporary stop sign at Main.
At one point, about 3,200 customers were without power. WPS has restored power to most of those customers.
No one was hurt in the crash.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
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