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La Crosse man charged with 5th OWI

La Crosse man charged with 5th OWI

Charles Hotchkiss


A La Crosse man was charged Wednesday with fifth-offense drunken driving after he was found passed out in his car Tuesday.

Charles R. Hotchkiss, 47, tried to buy alcohol at about 10:47 a.m. Tuesday at a Kwik Trip but was turned down after the employee said he was clearly intoxicated, according to the complaint. The employee reported that Hotchkiss got into a vehicle and drove away, and was able to give police his license plate number.

A town of Campbell officer located the vehicle backed into a parking lot shortly afterward. According to the complaint, Hotchkiss was asleep in the driver’s seat and the car was running. When he was awakened by police, he denied going to Kwik Trip and claimed he was just in the car to smoke a cigarette, according to police.

He said he’d been drinking a lot of vodka that day, and responded, “Yeah, whatever,” when informed that Kwik Trip employees had seen him at the store, according to the complaint.

Hotchkiss failed several field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.275%.

Hotchkiss was charged with fifth-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, fifth-offense operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration and felony bail jumping in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He was previously convicted of drunken driving in 1994, twice in 1995 and in 2013.

He was released on a signature bond by Judge Ramona Gonzalez and prohibited from consuming alcohol.

Jourdan Vian can be reached at or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.


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Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering crime and courts for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218 or

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