Gillette Man Attempts to Evade DUI By Claiming 15-Year-Old Was Driving, Not 4-Year-Old

in News/Crime

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By staff reports

Although widely reported that a Gillette man tried to avoid a DUI charge by telling officers that his 4-year-old son was driving his car, that was not the case.

According to police records, Joseph Nowacki, 39, blamed his 15-year-old son for driving the car when he was pulled over for drunk-driving on Saturday.

But the police didn’t buy it.

Instead, Nowcki was arrested for DUI, probation violation and interlock required on Oct. 23 after a Campbell County sheriff’s deputy reportedly pulled over his pickup in Gillette, according to affidavit filed in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial District in Campbell County.

Nowacki’s wife reported her husband had allegedly driven off with two juveniles in a white Ford pickup with Oklahoma plates around 7:30 p.m. after the two had gotten into a verbal argument at their home.

When the deputy caught up with the vehicle and attempted to pull Nowacki over, he reportedly sped up before making a U-turn in an intersection into a residential neighborhood. As the driver turned, the deputy could see a white male behind the wheel who he later identified as Nowacki, court documents say.

The driver did not immediately stop when the deputy attempted to pull him over and instead coasted to a stop at which point he jumped out of the vehicle and walked quickly towards a house with two juveniles jumping out of the driver’s door behind him.

When the deputy caught up to Nowacki, he smelled like alcohol and was slurring his words, court documents state. Nowacki reportedly admitted that he was on probation for a prior DUI and was on unsupervised probation. He denied he was driving, however, and claimed that the 15-year-old passenger, who has his learners permit, was sitting on his lap and driving the pickup, according to the affidavit.

Not only was Nowacki forbidden to drink alcohol per the terms of his probation, but he was also required to have an interlocking device on his vehicle which he did not have.

He refused to perform a field sobriety test or provide a breath test and was taken into custody and transported to Campbell County Detention Center where a blood search warrant was applied for and granted.

Nowacki was arrested in January 2021 for DWUI and was on 18-month unsupervised probation.

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