Woman arrested for OWI after driving wrong way on I-794

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A Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputy stopped a wrong-way driver early Thursday morning on eastbound I-794 near North James Lovell Street.

Sheriff's officials say the incident occurred shortly before 2:00 a.m. when the deputy was traveling eastbound on I-794 when he saw a vehicle without headlights headed toward him. The deputy activated his emergency lights, and positioned his squad car to obstruct the path of the wrong-way driver.

Officials say the driver, 27-year-old Paula O'Leary, immediately made a U-turn, and pulled over and proceeded to drive in the correct direction in the distress lane.

After pulling the driver over, the deputy reported several signs of intoxication, including red, glossy eyes, slurred speech, and the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. The Greenfield woman apparently performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and was arrested for her first OWI.

Officials report the woman had a BAC of .17, and was booked on charges of first OWI, and second degree recklessly endangering safety, which is a felony.

If convicted on both charges, the woman could face 10 years in prison, and $25,000 in fines.

O'Leary's bail was set at $2,500 cash on Saturday.

The prosecution says, "It couldn't get anymore dangerous without her actually killing someone or someone's family or something like that. Going the wrong way on the express way, traveling about 50 miles per hour, with her lights off."

Before Thursday morning's arrest, everything was going in the right direction for this college student. She is currently a doctoral student studying psychology and she has been working the last three years as a foster care specialist.