By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Woman receives probation after 4th DWI
MONROE - A Monroe woman was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and six months of electronic monitoring on a fourth-offense drunk driving charge.

Karen L. Wirth, 54, Monroe, was found guilty of a Class H felony count of fourth-offense driving while intoxicated at a sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Wirth was charged after an incident on March 19, 2016, when an erratic driver was stopped on Wisconsin 11 in Brodhead. Wirth, the driver, was found to be visibly sluggish and disoriented and she subsequently failed her field sobriety tests.

Marijuana and a pipe were also found in Wirth's possession. Charges related to the contraband were dismissed Tuesday as part of a plea agreement.

Wirth's previous drunk-driving offenses occurred on Jan. 11, 2000, July 12, 2010 and Jan 30, 2015.

District Attorney Craig Nolen recommended a withheld sentence of three years of probation with a conditional six months of jail time, followed by a 30-month revocation of Wirth's driver's license.

Wirth protested Nolen's recommendation, however, saying that she had understood Nolen's recommendation to include six months of electronic monitoring in lieu of jail time.

Nolen and Green County Circuit Judge James Beer clarified that Wirth's conditional jail time could be served out of jail with an electronic ankle monitor if the Green County Sheriff's Office considered it appropriate.

Wirth's attorney, Paul Ksicinski, said that Wirth's litany of health problems - including a shoulder injury that requires frequent medication, a past spinal fracture and a history of strokes - would be difficult to treat in jail.

Furthermore, Wirth's daughter Chesney Wirth testified that she needed her mother to assist her with day-to-day tasks. Chesney Wirth was diagnosed with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and requires the assistance of someone who understands her problems, she said.

Beer determined that electronic monitoring would be an acceptable substitute for jail time, although he warned Wirth that, should she consume any intoxicants not prescribed by a physician, she would have to serve the rest of the six-month conditional term in jail.

Wirth was also fined $600 and her license was revoked for 30 months. In addition, when Wirth regains her license, she will be required to utilize an ignition interlock device on her vehicle for an additional 30 months.