A local business owner, Nathan M. Lawler, 43, of Bristol, WI, is being accused by police and prosecutors of driving with a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit. This would be Lawler’s first OWI and Wisconsin is the only state that doesn’t charge first OWI as a crime. Lawler, however is being charged with a misdemeanor, because police say his three-year-old child was in the car with him while he was driving drunk.
According to the criminal complaint:
On July 25, 2023 at approximately 9:09pm, a Pleasant Prairie Police Officer witnessed Lawler driving on Old Green Bay Rd in the Village of Pleasant Prairie. According to the officer, both of Lawler’s drivers’ side tires crossed the center lane. The Officer stopped Lawler after he allegedly committed a second traffic infraction. The Officer saw the young child in the car and noticed that Lawler’s eyes were red and glassy. He could also smell an odor of alcoholic beverages from the vehicle. Lawler denied having anything to drink. Lawler agreed to standardized field sobriety testing. He did poorly on all three tests. He then agreed to a preliminary breath test which registered .166, or more than double the legal limit. According to the criminal complaint, police had his blood tested also.
Lawler was charged on July 31, 2023 with OWI With Minor Passenger and Refusal to Take Test for Intoxication After Arrest. Court Commissioner William Michel II released Lawler on a $500 cash bond.
He was also issued citations for Operating Left of Center, 346.05(1), Improper Left Turn, 346.31(3), and Operate Motor Vehicle Without Insurance, 344.62(1) in Pleasant Prairi Municipal court.
If convicted, Lawler faces a mandatory minimum imprisonment of five days, and a maximum imprisonment of six months. He will also lose his license for a year minimum, up to a year and a half.