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Point Woman Busted on 5th OWI

By Brandi Makuski

A Stevens Point woman faces up to 35 years behind bars if convicted on two felony charges related to her fifth OWI offense.

Brenda Labarge, 54, was arrested in June after a caller alerted law enforcement that Labarge was likely driving while intoxicated.

A Wisconsin State Trooper observed a vehicle matching the red Pontiac Grand Prix described by the caller traveling east on Hwy. 10, with Labarge behind the wheel and initiated a traffic stop. Labarge told the trooper she was coming back from Mosinee after having an argument with her boyfriend. During the conversation, the trooper reported the odor of alcohol, also noting Labarge’s eyes were bloodshot and glossy, and initiated a field sobriety test.

Labarge initially denied having consumed any alcohol but “quickly recanted and stated she did [drink alcohol] earlier that morning but was sleeping all afternoon,” adding she’d consumed four drinks containing diet root beer and vodka that day. She told the trooper she had multiple OWI offenses in the past and did not want to go to jail, the complaint said.

Her preliminary breath test indicated she had a blood alcohol content of .103 percent, which is over the legal limit of .08. Labarge had been under a judge’s order to refrain from alcohol consumption, and has four previous OWI convictions stemming back to 1990.

Charges against Labarge include operating with fifth offense each of prohibited alcohol content and operating while intoxicated. She returns to court Jan. 4.