By Lisa Pett
Samuel Winchester, a 30-year-old Stevens Point Man is charged with his second OWI charge for allegedly driving with his two young children in an incident that occurred on July 12 around 2 AM.
Deputies from the Portage County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for a driving complaint in which the caller said that Winchester had taken his girlfriend’s car without her permission and was intoxicated. He was reportedly driving on Hwy 66 toward the area of Kwik Trip and Morey’s Bar.
A deputy found the vehicle parked near the front entrance of the Kwik Trip on Stanley St. but there was nobody in the driver’s seat. Winchester, who was identified by an Oregon ID card was located outside the vehicle, where two children, ages 3 and 4 were sitting in the back seat.
Winchester stated that he had received a ride and that his girlfriend, the mother of the children, and she had driven the car. She was unable to be located and Winchester, who smelled of intoxicants and was slurring his speech could not explain where she was.
The children told deputies that Winchester drove them there and that their mother was at home. Winchester, whose Oregon license was suspended due to an OWI conviction, failed several field sobriety tests and registered blood alcohol of .202.
He arrested for suspicion of OWI and transported to St. Michael’s Hospital for a blood draw. He was booked into the Portage County Jail and the children were returned to the mother.
Winchester pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday. He remains free on a $500 cash bond and is due back in court on August 24.