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Man charged with alleged drunken driving, multiple weapons violations

Town of Merton – An Oconomowoc man was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Jan. 25 with drunken driving and multiple weapons violations after allegedly passing out behind the wheel and crashing his vehicle into a ditch.

Joel W. Yochum, 27, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, second offense, possession of a switchblade knife, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, three counts of carrying a concealed weapon, and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

Yochum was charged last December with misdemeanor drug possession, possession of a controlled substance and operating a firearm while intoxicated. As per his bond agreement in that case, he was not to possess or consume any alcohol or possess any knives, weapons or firearms.

He was also charged with misdemeanor bail jumping on Jan. 10 and was convicted of his first drunken driving offense on Jan. 16.

According to the criminal complaint:

Yochum was allegedly found by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department passed out behind the wheel at approximately 4:30 a.m., his truck stuck in a ditch on Koster Road in the Town of Merton.

An officer woke up Yochum and asked the defendant what happened and he said he was unsure. The officer asked Yochum if he had been drinking and the defendant said no. He later allegedly told police he had been drinking, but stopped by midnight.

A semi-automatic handgun was sitting on the dashboard of the vehicle. When the officer asked Yochum why it was there, he told him his friend was supposed to take it. The defendant told police that he was a gunsmith and that he was fixing the gun for his friend.

The officer said in the complaint the defendant’s eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slow and his balance unsteady. He said the defendant smelled of liquor and had Yochum perform a field sobriety test. The defendant only performed one test, then said he was cold and did not want to continue. The officer then placed the defendant under arrest for carrying a concealed weapon.

Yochum had two knives on his belt and two multi-tool knives in his pocket, which the defendant told police he had on him for his job. In his car, a pair of brass knuckles, a machete and several other knives were found. The handgun lying on the dash had a high-capacity magazine in it with 17 rounds. The defendant was placed in a squad car and allegedly told police, “My lawyer is going to have a field day with you.”

The defendant was forced to provide a blood sample after refusing to submit to the blood test. He allegedly told police that he did not know how he ended up in the driver’s seat and he suspected his friend moved him there while he was sleeping.

If convicted of all charges, Yochum could face more than five years in prison, $70,000 in fines, or both.

The defendant’s next expected court date is Feb. 1.


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