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Prosecutors: Waukesha man accused of 6th OWI was transporting 82-year-old mother after drinking

Kenneth Cooley

Kenneth Cooley

RACINE COUNTY — A Waukesha man stands accused of driving drunk with his 82-year-old mother as a passenger on Sunday, Oct. 27 in the Town of Dover in Racine County. Prosecutors said a cup with a red liquid that appeared to be wine was found in the cupholder in his vehicle when he was arrested around 4:20 p.m.

Kenneth Cooley, 59, faces one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, fifth or sixth offense, general alcohol concentration enhancer.

A criminal complaint laid out his previous OWI convictions:

  • OWI, fifth or sixth: Waukesha County in 2010
  • OWI, fourth, hit-and-run: Waukesha County, 2002
  • OWI, third: Juneau County, 2002
  • OWI, second: Milwaukee County, 2000
  • OWI, first: Dane County, 1997

According to a criminal complaint, deputies on patrol Sunday afternoon saw a white Toyota Camry headed westbound on Washington Avenue at Highway 75 in the Town of Dover in a roundabout, at which point the vehicle struck a curb, causing damage to the vehicle. The driver continued, dragging part of the front bumper, weaving in its lane of traffic and crossing the center yellow line three times. At one point, the driver of an oncoming vehicle had to swerve to avoid impact. The complaint said the Camry did not stop until deputies sounded their sirens.

At this point, it was revealed Cooley was driving. The complaint said deputies noticed an odor of intoxicants, but Cooley, who was driving his 82-year-old mother home, said he wasn’t drinking. When deputies noted they could smell intoxicants, the complaint said Cooley admitted he had been drinking a little bit.

The vehicle was found to be leaking fluid, and according to prosecutors, Cooley said he had been involved in a crash in the Milwaukee area more than two hours prior. He said he and the other driver had exchanged information, but he didn’t have that driver’s information.

The complaint said field sobriety tests were performed poorly, and a preliminary breath test revealed a result of .218.

Investigators found a cup in the cupholder with a red liquid inside that smelled like wine, and prosecutors said Cooley admitted he’d been drinking it earlier. He was taken to the hospital for a blood draw.

Cooley was in court Monday, Oct. 28 for his initial appearance. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and cash bond was set at $2,500. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 7.

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