By Brandi Makuski
A Stevens Point man is behind bars for his ninth OWI offense.
Brian K. Matke, 51, made a court appearance this week for his final pre-trial conference before Judge Robert Shannon.
Matke was arrested following a Dec. 29, 2015 single-vehicle accident on County Hwy. HH in the Town of Carson. At about 9:20 PM, a witness called 911 to say she’d seen a motorist, later identified as Matke, strike a mailbox with his Chevrolet Impala, cross the center line into the oncoming traffic, then land in a ditch.
When deputies arrived at the scene, Matke “stared off into space” as they attempted to make contact with him in the driver’s seat. According to the complaint, he was holding a lighter in one hand and a black metal marijuana pipe in the other.
Matke told deputies he’d been smoking synthetic marijuana from the pipe, according to the complaint. Deputies said his eyes were glossy, he appeared to be intoxicated and had slurred speech.
Deputies asked Matke a series of questions, including whether he knew where he was or where he was going, but Matke did not provide any answers. He also said he didn’t remember hitting the mailbox, the complaint reads, and appeared to have trouble comprehending what officers were asking him.
“As Mr. Matke exited the vehicle he appeared to be very unstable and unable to stand on his own,” the complaint read in part.
Matke was taken to Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital for a blood draw and he was taken into custody. He remains behind bars on a $7500 cash bond.
Matke has eight prior OWI convictions dating back to 1990. He also has several open cases for charges including battery to law enforcement officer, bail-jumping and traffic offenses.
If convicted, he could face a minimum of three years in prison for the OWI as a repeat offender. He is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of felony bail-jumping.
His jury trial is scheduled to begin in January.