Ladysmith woman charged with 3rd OWI after sheriff sees video sent by her daughter

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 3:18 PM CST
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A Ladysmith woman has been charged in Eau Claire County with a third offense OWI after a sheriff saw a video of her driving while intoxicated.

Court documents show 45-year-old Donna Lehr has been charged in Eau Claire County with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, third offense, with a minor in the vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint, Lehr’s daughter sent text messages and videos of her mother’s intoxicated driving to a close friend, who is the daughter of Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Wallace. Wallace then alerted officers of a possible intoxicated driver traveling southbound on Highway 53.

Lehr’s vehicle was tracked to Plato’s Closet in Eau Claire, where officers say they made contact with the family on Nov. 3 around 4:50 p.m. The daughter opened the driver’s side door of the vehicle and when asked why she was driving, she first told officers she wanted to practice her driving in the city. When pulled aside the daughter told law enforcement “because she’s drunk. I have videos of her swerving all over the road. I wanted to switch places while we were driving but didn’t have the chance so I asked if I could drive us home instead”.

The complaint also says Lehr told law enforcement that she had a “few shots” between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. A preliminary breath test resulted in Lehr reaching .106.

Court documents show Lehr was previously convicted of OWI charges in 2002 and 2007, both in Walworth County.

Lehr is currently out on a $1,000 signature bond. She is due back in court on Jan. 15.