Busted: Willis Hagen operating with PAC

Christina Basken, News Editor

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UW Oshkosh professor Willis Hagen was pulled over for operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited blood alcohol content on Tuesday March 12 at 9:22 a.m. at the intersection of Pearl Avenue and Wisconsin Street/44.

According to the citation, Hagen’s BAC was 0.14%. Per Wisconsin state law, the BAC limit at which no other evidence required to show the driver was intoxicated for an OWI conviction is 0.08%. If your BAC is 0.15% or higher, then an ignition interlock device may be installed into the vehicle, and a sobriety program may be required.

Hagen’s bond was set at $937.50, and according to the citation, an estimation of six points will be added to his license.

This is Hagen’s first offense. In Wisconsin, first-time offenders face their license being revoked for six to nine months.

In Wisconsin, there is a difference between an OWI and operating with PAC. An OWI is issued through a police officer’s observation that the driver is not capable of driving their vehicle safely. With a PAC charge, the officer must have evidence that the BAC was over the state’s legal limit. It is possible to receive both a PAC and OWI ticket in Wisconsin, although you cannot be charged with both.

Hagen is scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Winnebago County Courthouse.

On April 26, Hagen’s attorney Peter Culp filed a notice of appearance as Hagen’s attorney.

According to the UWO faculty/staff handbook, section 1.4.(1) alcohol and other drug use, the use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on University premises.

“Violations of these provisions by a student may lead to the imposition of a disciplinary sanction, up to and including suspension or expulsion,” the handbook stated. “University employees are also subject to disciplinary sanction for violation of these provisions occurring on University property or the worksite or during work time, up to and including termination from employment.”

According to UWO Workforce Relations and Training Specialist Employee Relations Holly Shea, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to situations like this.

“The way the policies work, there’s really no ‘If this happens then this happens,’” Shea said. “Any time there’s a situation like this there’s going to be an investigation, the specific facts on the investigation are going to determine what the next steps are.”

UWO Director of Communications Mandy Potts declined to comment.

“As it is our practice, we don’t offer comments on personnel (or legal) matters,” Potts said via email.

It is still unclear whether Hagen will face any repercussions from UWO administration for driving under the influence near campus property.

Hagen did not respond when contacted for a comment.