GOVERNMENT CENTER— On the night of Sept. 11, 2016, a Burnett County officer received a phone call. The caller, a local gas station employee, expressed concern that the driver of a blue Chevrolet Blazer may be intoxicated. Several minutes later, the official noticed the car driving slowly southbound on Highway 35, leading back into the Village of Webster.

The driver was Bryon K. Nickence, 59, Webster. After making contact with Nickence, law enforcement discovered he was intoxicated and arrested him for his ninth OWI.

Nickence was in possession of a Wisconsin I.D. card but not a driver’s license. After being brought to the jail, Nickence blew a .24. Because of previous offenses, his limit was legally .02 as opposed to the normal .08. Nickence was charged with one count of operating while intoxicated (9), operating with prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) (9), and operating a motor vehicle while revoked.

Leading up to Oct. 6, 2017, the day of sentencing, Nickence was incarcerated in Burnett County Jail for 329 days. The charges of operating with prohibited PAC, and operating while revoked were read in and dismissed. For the OWI (9), Nickence will serve an eight-year prison sentence consisting of three years incarceration and five years extended supervision. A 329 day credit will be applied. 

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Harrington stated the maximum penalty for an OWI of this degree is a fine up to $25,000, and/or up to 10 years in prison. While the sentence may be bifurcated, there is a mandatory prison sentence of at least three years set by the Department of Corrections.

The Judge continued to explain that he does not agree with the Department of Corrections mandatory three years sentence. “I believe that there is always an opportunity for somebody to go to counseling and rehabilitate,” he said. He continued to say that maybe he is not correct in this situation because according to the pre-sentence investigation, Nickence is reported to having told the court he will continue to consume alcohol. 

The PSI also shed light on a history of alcohol abuse in Nickence’s family. His OWIs range from 1990-2017.

Nickence will serve his sentence at Dodge Correctional in Waupun.