A Menomonee Falls police officer returning from the Waukesha County Jail Friday night prevented a possible tragedy when he pulled over a wrong-way driver in Brookfield on Capitol Drive.
The driver, 48-year-old Daniel M. Goepel, of Hartland, is charged with his fifth drunken driving offense after being arrested by a Brookfield police officer. He faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the charge.
According to a criminal complaint:
The Menomonee Falls police officer was traveling eastbound on Capitol Drive when he saw a vehicle leave a strip mall, turn left onto Capitol Drive and travel west in the eastbound lane. The officer activated his emergency lights as the vehicle came near him. The vehicle pulled over and the police officer contacted the Brookfield Police Department.
The officer from Menomonee Falls took the driver’s keys, noting that the driver, later identified as Goepel, smelled like intoxicating beverages. The Brookfield police officer arrived on scene to handle the investigation.
Goepel told the officer he was drinking and had screwed up, realizing he traveled the wrong way in traffic. He failed his field sobriety tests and had a .20 percent blood alcohol concentration.
After Goepel was arrested, he told police he consumed alcohol from noon to 8:30 p.m. Friday. He told police he knew he had too much to drink, that he shouldn’t have driven and he was thankful he didn’t hurt anyone.
Goepel previously was convicted of drunken driving in April 1994, February 1996, December 1996 and January 1998.