UPDATE: Lawmaker not in court, ordered to stay sober - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Lawmaker not in court, ordered to stay sober



COLUMBIA COUNTY (WKOW) -- A court commissioner ordered State Rep. Jeff Wood to stay sober at all times as Wood was charged in Columbia County court with 3rd offense OWI and marijuana possession.

Because the charges against Wood are misdemeanors, he was not required to appear in person and did not show up at his court date. Wood was represented by Madison attorney Chris Van Wagner.

The commissioner allowed Wood to remain free on a signature bond with the sobriety condition. Wood is also not allowed to drive without a license and cannot sell the car he was driving when arrested. 

Columbia County district attorney Jane Kohlwey told 27 News she typically asks for an absolute sobriety condition for people accused of a third or greater drunk driving offense.

Kohlwey said if someone were to see Wood drinking, she would commence additional prosecution.

"It it gets reported to the police and they can verify he's been drinking, it's a bail jumping offense that we will charge."

Van Wagner, declined any comment, deferring to attorney Tracey Wood, who is Jeff Wood's primary attorney.   Tracey Wood, who is no relation to the lawmaker, did not attend the court hearing.

If convicted of 3rd offense OWI, Wood would face a mandatory jail sentence.

Last year, Governor Doyle joined several lawmakers in calling for repeat drunken driving to become a felony at the third offense, instead of the current, fifth offense.

Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) has proposed lowering the threshold for repeat drunken driving to be considered a felony, with a qualification.

"We'll bring that down to a third conviction, if a third conviction happens within five years(of the first offense)."

Wood's first drunken driving offense occurred in August 1990, more than eighteen years before his third offense arrest.

Authorities say last December, Wood drove into an interstate highway sign before being arrested for suspected drunken driving.   Authorities said Wood's blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice Wisconsin's legal limit.

Authorities said marijuana and a pipe were found in Wood's car.

Wood's next court appearance is scheduled for March 9.

COLUMBIA COUNTY (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker charged with drunk driving and possession of marijuana is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.

Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) is charged with third-offense OWI, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested in Columbia County in December, allegedly after a night of drinking in Madison.

A state trooper found Wood urinating on the shoulder of interstate, and a search of his vehicle turned up two bags of marijuana.

Wood has apologized for what he calls poor judgment but has so far resisted calls to resign.

Click here to read Tony Galli's report on Wood's arrest and charges in December

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