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Judge rejects plea deal in 9th drunken driving offense

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge has rejected a plea deal that would’ve sent a woman to jail for six months for her ninth drunken-driving offense.

Attorneys for Lisa Badciong argued that she was having trouble coping with her son’s suicide when she was found unresponsive with two young children in her vehicle. Prosecutors didn’t want a long sentence, but the judge said past ordered treatment hasn’t worked.

The decision means Badciong, 46, will be tried on charges that include driving while intoxicated ninth offense with a minor child in the vehicle.

Court documents say Badciong was found with her foot on the brake of her running vehicle on June 2 in a Burger King drive-thru in Lake Hallie. Police said two children — a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old — were in the back seat, while a half-bottle of vodka was in the front passenger seat.

Police say her blood-alcohol level was 0.32. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.

“Due to her high level of intoxication, she was unable to perform field sobriety tests as she could not speak nor stand,” a criminal complaint said. “She was transported to the hospital where she had to stay to be medically cleared due to her high level of intoxication.”

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Broeren said prosecutors believe it would be more beneficial for Badciong to get treatment rather than serve a long prison sentence.

Chippewa County Judge Steven Cray said treatment Badciong received for three such offenses in 2008 didn’t work.

Cray decided he couldn’t abide by the plea agreement, saying he was refusing to dismiss the ninth drunken-driving charge.

“I respect you both,” Cray told the attorneys. “But this is a bridge too far.”

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