Tuesday afternoon, an off-duty Merrill Police Officer reported nearly being struck by a vehicle while shoveling snow in front of his residence.
The officer reported the truck then continued on 5th Street, nearly side swiping a vehicle and striking a snow bank. The officer continued to follow the vehicle until the arrival of additional officers. Upon contact with the driver, James Peterson, officers asked him to submit to field sobriety testing which he refused. According to officer notes, Peterson was then taken into custody on a felony charge of 7th Offense-Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated. According to officer notes, Peterson was transported to Ministry-Good Samaritan Health Center where he was asked to submit to a blood draw and he reportedly refused. Officers then contacted a Lincoln County Circuit Court judge to obtain a warrant signature to collect Peterson’s blood. Officers returned to MGSHC to commence with Peterson’s blood draw. Peterson was later transported to the Lincoln County Jail on the felony OWI charge as well as a probation hold.