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Woman faces fifth driving while intoxicated charge

A Gordon woman accused of driving while intoxicated with a 4-year-old in the vehicle was bound over for arraignment last week in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Kathern Marie Baum, 49, faces one felony count of operating while intoxicated, fifth or sixth offense, with a minor child in the vehicle; and misdemeanor counts of operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license and possession of a controlled substance.

According to the criminal complaint:

Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Cory Knutson saw Baum driving in an alley in Superior's Allouez neighborhood. Recognizing Baum from previous contacts, Knutson checked with the Communications Center and found she had an active warrant for her arrest because of nonpayment of court fines.

Knutson stopped Baum in front of a playground and her 4-year-old grandson got out of the vehicle. She told the deputy that she had brought him to the bathroom at a local convenience store. A man offered to take the boy and Baum's other grandchildren, who were playing at the park, home in two loads. As Knutson and Baum waited for the man to return, the deputy smelled an odor of an intoxicating beverage. Baum told him she had consumed half of a "Sparks," which is a canned alcoholic drink.

A call to the Communications Center confirmed that Baum had four prior OWI offenses and her driver's license was revoked. Due to the number of prior offenses, a blood-alcohol concentration over 0.02 was prohibited. A preliminary breath test showed an alcohol content of 0.032.

While searching Baum, Knutson found five Lortab pills. Baum said she had a prescription for them, but they were not in a prescription bottle, police said.

A cash bond of $1,000 was set with the conditions the Baum not operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license and that she not use or possess any controlled substances, drug paraphernalia or alcohol. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 21.