7th OWI Charges For Superior Man, 11-Year Old In Front Passenger Seat
A Superior man is facing his seventh Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge stemming from a routine traffic stop on Christmas Day. Police documents detail that he also had an 11-year old with him riding in the front passenger seat.
The traffic stop was the result of the driver running through a stop sign at the intersection of Catlin Avenue and North 12th Street "around 4:47 PM on December 25."
According to details shared in the article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], 52-year old Todd Kenneth Burd "faces one count of seventh-offense operating while under the influence with a minor in the vehicle".
When the Wisconsin State Patrol pulled Burd over after he ran the stop sign, Trooper Zachary Lind quickly noted the situation:
"report[ing] that he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage as Burd spoke, the Superior man's words were slurred and his eyes appeared red, glassy, and bloodshot. Burd exhibited clues of impairment during field sobriety tests and registered 0.101 on a preliminary breath test."
Continued investigation netted the information about Burd's prior convictions. When Trooper Lind ran Burd's record on the law enforcement computer in the car, it detailed those earlier arrests:
"[The] records check showed Burd had six prior convictions for operating while intoxicated, five in Wisconsin and one in Colorado, the most recent from 2005. At the time of the incident, Burd had a restriction on his license that he not operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.02."
Burd's current charges include having the 11-year old with him as a passenger in the vehicle while operating while intoxicated. As far as being in the front seat, Wisconsin law doesn't "explicitly" dictate what age a child may be before they ride on the front passenger seat. However, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation includes "Wisconsin Child Passenger Safety" recommendations from a variety of child safety experts; those details recommend that "children under 13 years of age should ride in the back seat using a lap and shoulder belt".
While Burd has been charged with this 7th OWI, he has not been convicted yet. If he does receive a conviction, the "charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $50,000". The next point of action on the case will come on March 24 at the next court appearance.