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18-year-old arrested for drunk driving twice in a few hours

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ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) - An 18-year-old man was arrested for drunk driving twice in about 2.5 hours Sunday morning, according to Ashwaubenon Public Safety.

Early Sunday morning, June 4 at approximately 4:20 a.m., Ashwaubenon officers responded to a crash in the 2100 Block of S. Broadway St where a vehicle struck a light pole.

Officers say Preston Bierhals, 18, was coming home from a graduation party and seemed impaired.

According to the criminal complaint, Bierhals told officers he was trying to make a phone call when he lost control and struck the light pole.

The complaint goes on to say Bierhals had a suspended drivers license and he failed a standardized field sobriety test.

Bierhals had a blood alcohol level of .157, the complaint states.

"The legal limit for him is 0, but he was still above the .08, he was over .10 actually both times," said Capt. Jody Crocker.

Officers processed him for OWI 1st Offense and he was released to another adult who signed a Responsibility Agreement to not allow him to operate a motor vehicle.

"They signed an affidavit that says to us that they will take that responsibility in lieu of this person sitting in jail for the next 12 hours. Here of course, that didn't work," said Capt. Crocker.

At approximately 7 a.m., another officer was working a traffic detail for a triathlon at the entrance to Ashwaubomay Park and recognized Bierhals from the previous arrest operating another vehicle. The officer stopped him and once again, administered a field sobriety test, which he failed, the criminal complaint reads.

Bierhals was again processed for alleged OWI 2nd and taken to the Brown County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, his blood alcohol level for the second test was .121.

Crocker said Bierhals told officers he was coming from a graduation party, it's still unclear who's party it was. Crocker says it's possible the host of the party may be charged if they supplied alcohol to underage people.

"Minors that have been drinking, we find out that they do basically admit to driving under the influence of alcohol when they do leave these parties," explained State Rep. Andre Jacque, R- De Pere.

Lawmakers will vote on a bill later this month that tighten the laws when it comes to adults allowing underage drinking in their homes, Andre Jacque is a co-author of the bill.

"It's not okay to basically, harbor the delinquency of minors," explained Jacque.

People who break the law could be fined $500 for a first offense and face increasing penalties for additional offenses.

Crocker said police are investigating if charges should be filed against the person Bierhals was released to.

Bierhals is currently charged with two counts of bail jumping related to Sunday's incident and because of a previous, still open drug case.

Prosecutors say before they can add a second drunken driving charge, the ticket he received hours earlier for a first drunken driving offense must be resolved.

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Bierhals is expected to be back in court next week.

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