A Mount Horeb man was sentenced Friday to four years in prison after pleading guilty to his 11th drunken driving offense.
Thomas A. Reed, 56, crashed his motorcycle May 23 on Highway 18-151 near Erb Road, between Mount Horeb and Verona, after another motorist saw him swerving in his lane for several minutes.
A blood analysis found that Reed was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of just over 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Wisconsin. He told police after his crash that he had had two beers after work, a criminal complaint states.
Circuit Judge Susan Crawford agreed to impose the sentence that was jointly recommended by Reed’s lawyer, Lisa Goldman, and Assistant District Attorney Robin Lee, which also included three years of extended supervision after Reed is released from prison.
Crawford also said Reed is eligible for the Earned Release Program while in prison, which could shorten his sentence if he completes treatment while in prison.
Lee said the sentence was recommended in part because it had been several years since Reed committed his 10th offense. Court records show he committed his 10th offense in August 2010 and served a three-year prison sentence.
Goldman said that Reed, a business owner, has struggled to overcome alcoholism despite medications and in-patient treatment that he has largely paid for out of his own pocket after relapses that caused him to drink.
Goldman said Reed has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings two or three times a week and received other regular outpatient treatment, and he kept an ignition interlock device operational in his truck, at his own expense, even after it was no longer required by his prior drunken driving sentence. His 11th offense, unfortunately, happened while he was riding his motorcycle, she said.
Crawford said it was obvious that Reed has struggled mightily with alcoholism, and noted that at the same time he had still contributed a lot to charity and to his community.
“We’re not penalizing you for being an alcoholic,” she said. “We’re penalizing you for driving while intoxicated.”