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Pair arrested for allegedly taking turns driving under influence, Madison police say

Pair arrested for allegedly taking turns driving under influence, Madison police say

Nicole L. Carpenter and Dean J. Mickelson

Carpenter, Mickelson. 

Two people were arrested on the North Side after allegedly taking turns driving while impaired early Friday morning, Madison police said. 

Around 6:15 a.m., a passing motorist reportedly saw Dean J. Mickelson, 41, unconscious in the driver's seat of the vehicle, which was idling in the roadway on International Lane. Nicole L. Carpenter, 31 was unconscious in the passenger's seat, police said. 

The witness drove around the vehicle to make a delivery. He passed by again a few minutes later, and they still weren't awake, so he called 911.

Mickelson woke up and drove away, jumping a median and flattening two of the vehicles' tires. He proceeded to drive against traffic on International Lane, police said, with "oncoming motorists making evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions." 

The witness — a 54-year-old Madison man — stayed on the line with 911 while driving a safe distance behind. He relayed information as Carpenter and Mickelson pulled into a parking lot and switched places, with Carpenter "staggering toward the driver's seat," police said. 

Carpenter swerved through traffic on Packers Avenue before getting pulled over by Madison police. She reportedly told an officer that she didn't know her tires were flat, and that she and Mickelson were going to Baraboo. 

Carpenter and Mickelson, both of Baraboo, were each tentatively charged with operating while impaired. Carpenter was also charged for violating probation, while Mickelson was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. 

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Howard Hardee is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has written extensively about government, natural disasters and forest health in northern California.

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