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Appeals court tosses Marathon County OWI conviction

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - A Wausau man’s conviction for driving while intoxicated was reversed by an appeals court. Eric Fischer’s ruling was overturned because the officer missed a detail in his evidence gathering. 

Fischer had crashed his motorcycle three years ago this month avoiding turkeys on Highway KK. Deputy Joseph Heindel administered a breath test, which showed a .06 reading. An emergency room nurse told the deputy his blood test had a .15 alcohol content, which would make Fischer legally drunk.

Since the investigator did not get the name of the nurse who provided that information, the appeals court ruled the blood test inadmissible. Appeals Judge Mark Mangerson’s opinion is that the officer needed more than a tip to establish probable cause for an arrest.

Fischer crashed his motorcycle in September 2010 while trying to avoid turkeys near the intersection of Highway KK and River Vista Road.

Assistant Marathon County District Attorney Sidney Brubacher has 20 days to decide whether to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case.

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