Wega driver charged with ninth OWI
Released from prison in July, a man was arrested for another OWI in December.
He is currently in custody on a $5,000 cash bond.
Mark E. Knaus, 56, Weyauwega, was charged Dec. 20 with felony operating while intoxicated, operating after revocation of his license, failure to install a court-ordered ignition-interlock device (IID), possession of illegally obtained prescription drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of a ninth OWI.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Weyauwega Police Officers Justin Malueg and Lydia Buntrock were dispatched to a home on East Wisconsin Street in response to a complaint of stolen drugs.
The complainant said Knaus and his girlfriend had been visiting when he saw them in the kitchen near a drawer where he keeps his medications. He then saw Knaus at the kitchen table, using the cap of a scent spray bottle to crush something. Knaus allegedly snorted the crushed substance with a straw.
The man said he later discovered a full bottle of Oxycodone and half a bottle of Ocycontin were missing from his medicine drawyer.
After the man angrily confronted Knaus’ girlfriend about the missing medication, Knaus and his girlfriend left the house in the other man’s vehicle.
Knaus took his girlfriend to their home, then returned to the man’s home. He left again on foot when he learned the police were called about the missing drugs.
Knaus’ own car was later towed away from a neighbor’s property. There was no IID in either Knaus’ or the complainant’s vehicle.
Malueg and Bontrock went to Knaus’ residence on the 200 block of South Harlon Street.
According to the criminal complaint, the officers found marijuana in a white film canister on the kitchen floor and a small amount of white powder in a plastic bag in the kitchen cupboard.
Knaus told the officers the white powder was for treating constipation and had been prescribed to somebody else.
Malueg reported that Knaus swayed, had difficulty standing up straight and did not successfully pass field sobriety tests.
In September 2013, Knaus was sentenced to three years in state prison and two years of extended supervision for an eighth OWI.
Among the conditions of his extended supervision, Knaus was required to maintain absolute sobriety and install an IID in his vehicle.
An IID requires the driver to blow into it before starting the car. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit, the engine will not start.
In 2004, Knaus was convicted of two OWIs in Dodge and Outagamie counties and sentenced to a total of 34 months in prison and 36 months of extended supervision.
In January 2008, Dodge County revoked his extended supervision and sentenced him to six months in prison.