Racine County DA pleads guilty following OWI crash

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by Mike Strehlow

Racine-- Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete is taking responsibility for leaving the scene of a drunk driving crash and obstructing police afterward.

Racine County's top prosecutor agreed Friday to a pre-trial agreement in the case in which he'll be fined more than $1200, have his driver's license revoked for a year, and his car equipped with an ignition interlock device.

Police squad car dash cam video was released Thursday from the incident late Friday night in Racine.  It shows Chiapete failing a field sobriety test inside a hospital ambulance bay, and also the scene of the crash where his car took out a traffic light and struck and tree.  Witnesses say Chiapete ran from the scene of the crash to his house.  According to police reports, Chiapete was questioned by an officer at his home after the crash.  After telling the arresting officer three different versions of what happened, Chiapete admitted to "being out" and "having a few drinks" at a birthday party.

He pleaded guilty to three municipal citations including first offense OWI, Duty upon Striking Property, and Obstructing an Officer.

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