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Man charged with 5th DWI

An Austin man who had already been convicted of intoxicated driving four times in the last seven years was charged with a felony DWI Wednesday.

Jal Peter Kuek, 26, was also charged with driving without a license and having an open bottle of alcohol in his vehicle, both misdemeanors. He is in custody and his next Mower County court date has not been set.

According to a criminal complaint, Kuek was pulled over at around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday near Interstate Highway 90 and 14th Street Northwest by an Austin police officer who noticed that rear license plate lights on the vehicle were out. The officer approached Kuek and noticed a strong smell of alcohol. The defendant also had watery, bloodshot eyes, the complaint states.

The officer also noticed a beer can spilling out onto the backseat floor. Neither Kuek nor a front seat passenger admitted to drinking the beer, but Kuek did say he had consumed six beers earlier that night.

Kuek was arrested and taken to the Mower County jail, where he registered a 0.19 blood-alcohol content — more than twice the state’s legal limit.

Records indicate that Kuek was convicted of an intoxicated driving charge in Monona County, Iowa, in August 2003. He was also convicted of similar offenses in Nebraska — once in November 2003 and again in July 2009 — as well as in Nashville in August 2006.

Records also indicate that Kuek’s Nebraska license had previously been revoked.