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Eau Claire man gets four years in prison for 16th OWI

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A judge said Friday that an Eau Claire man with 16 drunken driving convictions needs to go to prison.

“You have had so many kicks at the cat to correct whatever needs to be corrected,” Eau Claire County Judge John Manydeeds told Bradley C. Armstrong at Armstrong’s sentencing hearing.

“It just doesn’t seem to stop. You’re a good person, but you’re a dangerous person,” Manydeeds said. “Frankly, you need to be off the streets. You need to be punished. You need to go away to protect the public. The number of prior OWIs is staggering.”

Manydeeds sentenced Armstrong to four years in prison. He must spend three years on extended supervision after his release from prison.

Armstrong’s driver’s license was revoked for three years. As conditions of supervision, he cannot drink alcohol or enter taverns. He must undergo any recommended counseling or programming.

Armstrong, 63, was previously convicted of a felony count of operating while intoxicated, 10th and subsequent offense.

Armstrong apologized to the judge and the community.

“I had a relapse and I’m accountable for that,” he said. “I know I have an alcohol problem. I’ve dealt with it daily.”

Armstrong’s attorney, public defender Susan Falch of Eau Claire, said “he’s a good person who has an alcohol problem. From the beginning, he has taken responsibility for everything.”

According to the criminal complaint:

Police were called to the 2200 block of Roy Street Aug. 17 for a domestic disturbance and a possible drunk driver.

An officer spoke with a man who said he recently had set up security cameras at his mother’s driveway with motion detectors, and when a motion occurs, a notification is sent to his phone.

That evening, he opened the app on his phone and saw Armstrong’s car drive into the driveway and into the yard, almost hitting his mother’s home. The man immediately went to his mother’s home, where he found Armstrong passed out in his car.

The man woke Armstrong, who told him he was drunk and got out of the car. When Armstrong began to follow the man around, he called police, and Armstrong got back into his car, backed out of the driveway — almost hitting the man’s friend’s vehicle, pulled into a neighbor’s driveway, got out and fled.

Once police arrived, Armstrong was found behind a house, standing on top of an air conditioning unit.

Armstrong’s blood alcohol level was 0.193 percent.

Armstrong was previously convicted of drunken driving in May 1989, June 1990, October 1991 and August 1994 in Minnesota, in August 1990, August 1993, twice in July 1994, August 1995, twice in May 1998, July 2004, August 2006 and May 2008 in Wisconsin, and in December 1993 in Massachusetts.

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