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Charges refiled against man accused of fleeing police in Waukesha

Schimel: Delays at state hygiene lab "a big problem"

May 19, 2014

Prosecutors will once again try to convict a 22-year-old man accused of fleeing from officers in Waukesha while intoxicated after the case against him fell apart last November because of delays at the state hygiene lab.

John P. Bulthuis was charged Monday, May 12, in Waukesha County Circuit court with attempting to flee traffic officers, operating with a restricted controlled substance in his blood (second offense), misdemeanor bail jumping and obstructing an officer.

Bulthuis was charged with similar offenses last June, when the incident took place, but the case was thrown out by Judge Jennifer Dorow in November. Prosecutors failed to provide state lab results from a blood draw of Bulthuis in an adequate amount of time, according to court records.

District Attorney Brad Schimel said the State Hygiene Lab in Madison, tasked with performing drug screens, has been experiencing backlogs of 10 to 12 months. His office decided to file the charges last year, despite knowing that his office may not get the results before trial, so that Bulthuis could be monitored under bail supervision.

"This is a big problem, and needs to be addressed," Schimel said.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer tried to stop Bluthius' vehicle near Big Bend Road and West Sunset Drive at about midnight on June 12. The officer noted in the complaint that the vehicle was speeding and Bluthuis' had a suspended driver's license.

The vehicle stopped briefly, but then sped off at about 80 miles per hour west on Sunset Drive, the complaint states. The officer pursued the vehicle for about 2.3 miles, until the vehicle jumped a curb near the Fox River Parkway and blew out a tire.

Bluthius exited the vehicle and led police on a brief chase before being arrested, the complaint states.

Bluthius was out on bail at the time for a previous charge of operating on a revoked license. He blew a preliminary 0.06 blood-alcohol content on a breath test, below the legal limit to operate a vehicle.

However, a blood draw alleges to show that Bluthius had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system when he was placed under arrest.

Bluthius could face anywhere from five days to five years in prison and $350 to $31,100 in fines if convicted on all counts. If convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, he could lose his license for up to 18 months.

Bluthius is expected to make an initial appearance in court on Tuesday, May 27.

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