6th OWI Charge Dismissed for Woman Convicted of Felony Bail Jumping

Friday, January 5, 2018 | SawyerWire |

Stacey Joelle Miller was found guilty of felony bail jumping on Dec. 19 in Sawyer County Circuit Court and a charge of operating while intoxicated, 6th offense, was dismissed and read in as part of a plea agreement.

Miller was sentenced to 2 years of probation.

According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 31, 2016, at approximately 2:16 p.m. two Sawyer County deputies were dispatched to Sleepy Hollow Drive in the town of Hayward for a reported disturbance. A resident heard a male individual yelling and swearing from within their home. They looked out and saw the male flailing his arms and pounding on his vehicle, according to the complaint.

Sleepy Hollow Drive is a dead end road, and the two deputies saw a dark gray jeep parked in the eastbound lane with one tire off the pavement, about 300 to 500 feet down the road.

As a deputy approached the driver’s side window, he recognized a female, Miller, in the driver seat. The deputy reported that he immediately smelled the odor of intoxicants and noticed both opened and unopened cans of Busch beer in the back seat.

Miller gave the deputy a driver’s license and said she wasn’t driving, according to the complaint. The deputy reported the vehicle was turned off and the keys were on the dash near the center.

Both Miller, and her passenger, a male recognizable to the deputies, both told deputies they stopped on the road so that the male could use the phone. Miller said they were arguing and he was mad because he lost his phone. She told deputies that he threw his phone into the woods. Miller also told the deputies that they were coming from the casino, they stopped at the c-store by the casino and were now heading home to Minong, the complaint stated.

The deputy reported that Miller’s eyes appeared slightly red and she had an odor of intoxicants from her breath. The deputy reported that the male appeared very intoxicated.

Deputies spoke to the resident who made the complaint and they reported that they didn’t see who was driving the vehicle, but they heard the arguing and the car was moving after that, and they saw no one leave the scene, according to the complaint.

The deputy then asked Miller to take a field sobriety test and she said she was drinking, but much earlier, and she continued to say she wasn’t driving.

When Miller got out of the car, the deputy noted that the driver’s side seatback was much further forward than the passenger seat, and he noted that the male passenger was much larger than Miller, therefore, it would appear that she was driving. Miller also admitted that she drove from the c-store to Chippewa Trail, but that the male wanted to drive.

Miller took several field sobriety tests on the scene, first having the deputy check her eyes. The deputy held up a stylus and asked her to follow with her eyes. According to the complaint, her eyes tracked smoothly till 45 degrees without any jerkiness, but then she had jerkiness at maximum deviation. Miller also performed the walk and turn test successfully completing nine steps forward, turned heal to toe, then returned nine steps.

The complaint further stated that Miller was able to raise a foot for 30 seconds.

Miller was asked to take a preliminary breath tester (PBT) but she refused and admitted she would be above .02, which was the maximum alcohol concentration Miller could have because she had been convicted of five previous OWI’s.

Miller was placed under arrest and another deputy placed the male under arrest for disorderly conduct for causing a disturbance that resulted in the original call to Sleepy Hollow Drive.

According to the complaint, Miller was first transported to the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital for a legal blood draw, which she consented too.

On Dec. 26, 2016, the deputy received a letter from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab with the report from the Oct. 31 blood draw, which stated that Miller’s blood alcohol content was .168, which was well above the .02 maximum level Miller was allowed due to five previous OWI convictions. Her court date was set for January 17, 2017.

On May 16, 2017, at approximately 1:20 p.m., Washburn County deputies responded to an incident that involved Miller and her boyfriend. During an argument, the boyfriend, who was reported to have been drinking, took off in a vehicle, but deputies were unable to locate him. Miller was at a different residence with friends in Spooner where deputies went to talk with her and noticed she was visibly intoxicated and noted that she was on a no-drink bond in Washburn County.

Miller consented to taking a PBT and registered a .235. She was arrested for violating the bond and charged with felony bail jumping. Ultimately, Miller was charged for felony bail jumping in both Sawyer and Washburn counties.

Miller still faces a charge of OWI 6th Offense in Washburn County with a jury trial set for May 23, 2018, on that charge. DrydenWire.com reported on August 24, 2017, that a January 2018 jury trial had been scheduled for that case which stemmed from an incident on November 26, 2016.  The criminal complaint filed against Miller in that case states that the deputy at the scene observed Miller jump from the driver’s seat to the rear of the vehicle and then a male passenger moved into the driver’s seat. (See full story below).

Online circuit court records indicate that on January 2, 2018, Washburn County Court rescheduled Miller’s jury trial to May 2018, due to health issues which resulted in Miller being hospitalized. Miller is also charged with felony bail jumping in Washburn County. 

**Previous Story via DrydenWire.com**

Jury Trial Set for Minong Woman on Felony 6th Offense OWI Charge

Thursday, August 24, 2017 | by Ben Dryden

WASHBURN COUNTY -- A Minong, WI woman is scheduled to have a Jury Trial in Washburn County Circuit Court on a charge of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), 6th Offense.

Stacey Miller, of Minong, WI, is charged with OWI 6th Offense after an incident on November 26, 2016, at around 1:30 AM, when a Washburn County Sheriff's Deputy made contact with her while she was stopped in her vehicle on the side of the road.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Miller, a Washburn County Sheriff's Deputy was en route responding to a 911 hang up call on Little Sande Road when he saw a vehicle stopped on the side of Smith Bridge Road with its brake lights on. As the Deputy got closer to the vehicle, the reverse lights came on and the vehicle appeared to have been put into park, as the brake lights went off and the hazard lights went on.

The Deputy stopped along side the vehicle and turned on his squad car emergency lights. When the Deputy activated a light so that he could observe the interior of the vehicle, he reportedly saw the female driver, later identified as Stacey Miller, look over at him and then quickly jump from the driver's seat into the rear of the vehicle. The Deputy then reportedly saw the male in the front passenger seat move over into the driver's seat.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that the Deputy asked Miller to step out of the back seat of the vehicle, where she was found sitting among containers of food. When the Deputy asked Miller what was going on that evening, she allegedly stated that she had just finished work and was on her way home. The Deputy then asked the male passenger to also get out of the vehicle. The Deputy could smell the odor of alcohol coming from both Miller and the passenger.

Miller repeatedly told the Deputy that she was not driving and that the passenger was the one who had been driving the vehicle, even though the Deputy advised Miller that he had watched her move from the driver's seat into the back seat of the vehicle.

Washburn County Dispatch advised the Deputy that although both Miller and the passenger had valid driver's licenses at that time, they also each had a restriction on their licenses, not allowing them to have a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.02.

With most Class D driver’s license, an individual can legally drive with a BAC of less than .08 percent as long as they are able to safely operate the vehicle. However, a non-commercial driver (Class D) is prohibited from having a BAC of more than .02 percent if the number of his/her prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is 3 or greater. This also changes the probable cause standard needed by an officer as even the smell of an intoxicating beverage alone is enough to lead the officer to believe that the suspected individual is violating the .02 percent BAC.

 - Joe Schieffer, legal consultant for DrydenWire.com.

Field sobriety testing was attempted with Miller, however, she was not able to successfully complete the tests. Miller reportedly refused to provide a preliminary breath sample at the scene, continuously repeating that the Deputy was being “mean” and that he was “taking her kids away from her”.

Inside the vehicle, the Deputy reportedly found two cans of Busch Light beer, which the passenger in the vehicle stated belonged to him, along with containers of leftover food which appeared to be from a Thanksgiving dinner, and two 6-packs of Bud Light bottled beer.

The criminal complaint also states that Miller repeatedly told the passenger to tell the Deputy that he had been driving. When the passenger did finally state that he had been driving the vehicle, the Deputy advised him that if he wanted to say that he was the one driving, then field sobriety testing would also be completed with him and that if he had a blood alcohol concentration higher than .02 he would also be arrested for OWI. At that point, the passenger stated that he had not been driving. Law enforcement provided the passenger with a ride home.

Miller was placed under arrest for OWI and while being transported, she allegedly continued her belligerent and disrespectful behavior to the Deputy, refusing to sit up in the squad car for her own safety and stating that the Deputy was being an “a**hole” for arresting her and taking her kids away from her.

As Miller initially refused to cooperate with an evidentiary blood draw to determine her level of intoxication, the Deputy requested a search warrant for her blood which was granted by a judge. Once at Indianhead Medical Center Emergency Room, Miller began to state that she had never refused to give blood and did ultimately cooperate with the blood draw. The results of that test are not known to DrydenWire.com at this time.

Miller appeared in Washburn County Circuit Court on August 21, 2017, regarding her charges and her case has been set for a Jury Trial in January 2018. If convicted of this charge, Miller could face a maximum of penalty of confinement in Wisconsin State Prison for not more 6 years.

Public record indicates that Miller also is facing charges in Sawyer County Circuit Court for OWI 6th Offense. That criminal complaint was filed in March 2017. A third complaint was filed against Miller on May 23, 2017, in Washburn County Circuit Court, charging her with 1 count of Class H Felony Bail Jump. In Sawyer County Circuit Court, a fourth criminal complaint was filed against Miller on May 25, 2017, also with a charge of Class H Felony Bail Jump. Details of these cases are not known to DrydenWire.com at this time.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

About Attorney Joseph Schieffer:  Joseph has formerly prosecuted cases in Barron & Washington counties in Wisconsin. Currently, he is a solo practitioner in Cumberland, Wisconsin specializing in criminal defense and civil litigation in Barron, Washburn, Rusk, Burnett, Sawyer, and surrounding counties. He can be reached at joseph@schiefferlaw.com with questions or comments.

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