Waupaca man faces felony OWI
An alleged drunk driver was arrested in a church parking lot.
Michael A. Stearns, 51, Waupaca, is charged with a fourth offense of operating while intoxicated and operating after revocation.
He has also been cited for refusing to take an intoxication test.
Shortly after 2:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9, Waupaca County Deputy Kyle Wiskirchen was completing his reports while in his squad car in the parking lot of St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church in Waupaca.
As he was working, Wiskirchen noticed a vehicle pull into the parking lot with its lights off. The deputy reported that it passed within a foot or two of his squad car and nearly collided with him.
The vehicle turned around, activated its lights and began exiting the parking lot.
Wiskirchen stopped the vehicle before it could leave. He noted that the driver had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.
When the deputy asked the driver for identification, he reportedly said he did not have any and refused to give his name.
Wiskirchen called for backup.
According to the criminal complaint, the vehicle was still running. The driver said he was going to leave and moved to shift the gears.
Wiskirchen reached through the driver’s window and removed the keys from the ignition.
Waupaca Police Officer Wesley Zube identified the driver as Stearns.
Stearns refused to take the preliminary breath test, then he refused to take the blood test, the complaint says.
At 3:24 a.m., Judge Philip Kirk granted a search warrant and Stearns’ blood was drawn.
Stearns was previously convicted of drunken driving in November 2014 and twice in September 2015, His driver’s license was revoked in September 2015 and has not been reinstated.