Jeff Wood arrested again
State Representative Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) was arrested Wednesday evening for driving while intoxicated. Instead of alcohol, Wood was allegedly under the influence of cough medicine and Lorazapam, an anti-anxiety medication sometimes used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
The police report is one long bad tale of Wood being uncooperative with the police and being a menace on the roads. Wood denied to the officer he was on any medication.
I told him that we had received a report that his driving was erratic. I asked him if he had a reason for that and he stated he was trying to find a spot on the map. The subject appeared to be very sleepy. I asked him if he had taken any medications and he nodded his head no. I asked him if he had anything to drink and he again nodded his head no.
He then proceeded to flunk the field sobriety test. During the One Leg Stand test, Wood admits to the officers he had taken some cold medicine.
He restarted the test and was swaying and using his arms to keep his balance. I stopped the test for his safety so that he would not fall down. Officer Peterson had then informed me that the subject had taken cold medicine.
The officer then administered an preliminary breath test, and the result was .00.
The officer asked Wood if he had taken anything else. I asked the subject if he had taken any medicine besides his cold medicine. The subject said he did not. I asked the subject how much cold medicine he took and he said he had about one shot of it.
At this point Wood was placed under arrest. During the search the police came across the prescription bottle for Lorazapam in his pocket. The prescription had been filled the day before, but out of 45 pills there were now only seven pills left. The officer told Wood he was concerned for Wood’s safety, and Wood said he thought the missing pills had spilled out in his car. Wood was taken to a hospital for a blood draw. He was medically evaluated and they determined he would need to remain at the hospital for approximately five hours due to his condition. This is when the police questioned Wood about his drug intake.
I also determined from Mr. Wood that he had taken six Lorazepam pills during the day. The prescribed dose according to the prescription bottle is three tablets daily. The subject also stated he took two doses of the Nite-Time cough syrup at about 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM.
…I also learned from the subject he was a State of Wisconsin Assembly Representative.
This would be Wood’s fourth OWI arrest. Wood is still awaiting trial for his third OWI arrest, an arrest Wood had told his constituents originally that he had no plans to contest. He has since broken that promise, hiring an attorney and contesting the search of his vehicle that found marijuana and marijuana paraphenalia in his vehicle.
In response to Wood’s now-fourth arrest, Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson called for Wood to step down from the legislature:
“Sadly, Rep. Jeff Wood continues to endanger the health and safety of himself and others. I share the concerns that many have for him personally and hope he gets treatment, but enough is enough.
It has become clear that Representative Wood is having far too much difficulty managing his own personal problems to cope with the problems of a state in economic crisis, and now there is only one reasonable course of action. It’s time for Representative Wood to do right by himself and his constituents by resigning his Assembly seat so the people of the Chippewa Valley can receive the representation they deserve. ”
Given the number of missing Lorazapam pills within such a short period, the Assembly needs to investigate whether Wood was under the influence of a Lorazapam overdose when the Assembly was in session and casting votes on Tuesday.
Wood also has an obligation to make a statement to his constituents regarding his possible drug and alcohol addiction and whether it is affecting his performance in Madison. He also needs to explain to them and his colleagues why he was not truthful when answering the questions of the police.
Last, but definitely not least, Wood must resign from office. The legislature needs to send a message that such behaviour will not be tolerated within it’s own ranks. Speaker Sheridan has an obligation to the Assembly to do more than issue a non-statement. Wood’s colleagues should demand that he resign. Public officials within Wood’s district must demand his resignation. It’s time this menace to public safety and poor representative of his constituents leaves office before he causes the legislature any more embarrassment – or even kills someone.