Hayward Woman Facing Charges of 4th Offense OWI With a Child in Vehicle

Thursday, February 15, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |


A Hayward, WI woman appeared in Sawyer County Circuit Court this week regarding her felony charges of operating while intoxicated, 4th offense, with a child in the vehicle.

The criminal complaint filed in Sawyer County Circuit Court against Hayward, WI woman, Dawn Ross, states that on February 2, 2017, a Sawyer County Sheriff’s Deputy saw a vehicle traveling with a burnt out headlight and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. 

After stopping the vehicle, the driver was identified as Dawn Ross, who allegedly stated to the deputy that she knew she was being stopped because she had a headlight out and that she did not have a valid driver’s license at the time. A check of Ross’s driver’s license confirmed that her license was revoked due to a prior conviction for OWI. 

A 6-year old child who was in the back seat of the vehicle waved to the deputy who was handling the situation. Law enforcement contacted a family member of Ross to come and pick up the child after which Ross was taken into custody and transported to the Sawyer County Jail.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that the deputy noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Ross, and that when she was questioned about this, Ross told the deputy that the smell must be from the shots of alcohol she had consumed the previous night.

At the Sawyer County Jail, law enforcement conducted field sobriety tests with Ross to determine if she was safe to drive, however, she was not able to successfully complete those. 

The criminal complaint states that Ross agreed to provide a preliminary breath sample, the result of which was .114. Ross then refused to voluntarily provide a blood sample for testing, and the deputy applied for a search warrant for a sample of her blood. That warrant was granted and Ross was taken to the Hayward Memorial Hospital for the blood to be drawn.

According to a copy of the blood test results which is included in the criminal complaint filed against Ross, her blood alcohol concentration level was determined to be .107.

The criminal complaint goes on to state that Ross was previously convicted for OWI in May of 1997, September of 1999, and September of 2015.

Ross is charged with Felony 4th Offense OWI with a Passenger Under 16; Felony 4th Offense Operating With a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration with a Passenger Under 16; and Misdemeanor Operating While Revoked.

The maximum penalty for Felony 4th Offense OWI With a Passenger Under 16 is imprisonment for not more than 12 years, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both.

In February 2018, two additional criminal cases were filed against Ross, charging her with Class H Felony Bail Jump, Misdemeanor Operating While Revoked, and Misdemeanor Failure to Install Ignition Interlock Device. Details of those cases are not known to DrydenWire.com at this time.

Online circuit court records show that Ross was placed on a $1,000 cash bail bond on February 3, 2017, and that bond was posted a few days later. Ross is required to cooperate with the Sawyer County STOP program, maintain Absolute Sobriety, and be subject to testing for violation of her sobriety condition as part of the conditions of her bail bond.

At a preliminary examination hearing in October 2017, the Court found probable cause to bind Ross’s charges of 4th Offense OWI with a passenger under 16 over for trial. Ross appeared most recently on February 13, 2018, regarding all her criminal charges and is to appear again for a plea/sentencing hearing in March.

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.



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