Authorities: Wisconsin lawmaker nearly twice legal limit, with marijuana possession - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Authorities: Wisconsin lawmaker nearly twice legal limit, with marijuana possession

Photo courtesy WI State Legislature Photo courtesy WI State Legislature

Madison (WKOW) -- Authorities said state lawmaker Jeff Wood was nearly twice Wisconsin's legal limit for driving and possessed marijuana after he crashed into an interstate highway sign.

   A Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accident Report states Wood's alcohol content was .15 in connection with his Dec. 12 arrest on the interstate in the town of Dekorra in Columbia County.  The legal alcohol content limit for driving is .08.

   The report also states authorities received two separate complaints about Wood's erratic driving around two a.m., and that Wood knocked down a ten foot high sign in the roadway's median and drove on before being stopped by a trooper.

   "My daughter told me that she was glad that I got pulled over,"  Wood (I-Bloomer) told WQOW.

   "If not, we might be going to somebody's funeral."

    A deputy at the Columbia County Jail said Wood was booked on charges of operating while intoxicated-first offense and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

   The deputy said Wood was booked at about 3 a.m. and released by about 9 a.m., when he posted $200 bond. Formal charges have not yet been filed by the district attorney.

   Wood apologized Monday for acting irresponsibly, saying there was "no excuse for my actions."

   Wood told WQOW he was drinking at a Madison bar with friends after attending a bioenergy summit event when a stranger offered him marijuana.

   "I had drank too much and lost sense of all judgment and someone had offered me some (marijuana),"  Wood told WQOW.

   "I don't why, but being intoxicated and not using any judgment, I left with it."

   Wood declined to identify the bar he was drinking at.   The State Patrol did not release details on what led to Wood's arrest, but officials said arrest reports would be released Tuesday.

   Wood is the legislature's first independent member in eighty years.  Wood, who has served in the legislature representing a section of northwestern Wisconsin since 2003, bolted the republican party shortly before he defeated a write-in, republican candidate last month.

   Wood apologized and gave up a committee chairmanship, but stopped short of resigning his seat in the legislature.

   Wood joins nearly a half dozen other state lawmakers to be arrested for suspected drunken driving during the past five years.

  "I don't drink a lot, but occasionally when I have drank, I've drank too much,"  Wood told WQOW.

   "I won't be drinking anymore."

   Wood is due in court in January.


  The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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