Road Rage Leads to Man's 5th OWI Charge, Police Say

A Sussex man allegedly argued face to face in the streets with another driver in Waukesha, and could pay heavily for drinking the night prior.

A night of drinking came back to haunt a Sussex man, who police say was involved in a fit of road rage in Waukesha that led to his fifth OWI charge.

Eric R. Schmidt, 33, of Sussex, was charged Thursday with disorderly conduct and a fifth offense for operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration, which is a felony. He faces up to $11,000 and six years imprisonment for the offenses.

According to the criminal complaint:

At roughly 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, a member of the Waukesha Fire Department called police while in traffic on the Moreland Boulevard bridge in Waukesha. The firefighter said he witnessed Schmidt and another driver standing face to face in the roadway yelling and pushing each other. He radioed in a call to police after the driver said he thought Schmidt flashed a knife at him.

According to the driver, the fight started when he attempted to squeeze into traffic, which was backed up due to a train. The driver said Schmidt was driving the vehicle behind him and honked his horn for 45 seconds, and flipped him off. The driver said Schmidt exited his vehicle and yelled, “You cut me off," and started walking toward the vehicle, according to the report.

The driver said Schmidt then yelled, “Do you wanna die today?”, and appeared to pull something from his waistband that was thought to be a knife.

After police arrived, Schmidt was handcuffed and no weapons were found in his possession. However, while speaking with Schmidt, an officer smelled a light odor of intoxicants.

Schmidt told the officer he had not been drinking that day, but did drink last night and spilled alcohol on himself while walking his dog. He told police he drank a four-pack of Sparks and three Mike’s Hard Lemonades and stopped about 1 a.m. Schmidt blew a 0.02 on a preliminary breath test, but since he had four prior convictions his BAC was limited to 0.02. 


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