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Repeat drunken driver gets shock time, probation after plowing into Portage des Sioux home

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY • A repeat drunken driver who crashed through the living room of a Portage des Sioux home while the residents were asleep has been given 120 days shock time and a five-year suspended sentence.

According to the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department, the accident happened at 4:08 a.m. June 9 at 1570 Common Field Street, which sits at the intersection of Common Field and Highway J. 

Rickey Ardell Branch, 44, of Marshall, Mo., drove through the intersection at a high rate of speed, took out the sign saying "Welcome to Portage des Sioux," drove through a fence and then plowed into the home, causing extensive structural damage. No injuries were reported.

A deputy who responded to the scene said Branch failed several field sobriety tests. According to court records, Branch has been found guilty of driving while intoxicated in October 2005 and October 2009 in Cooper County, and in September 2009 in Saline County. In addition, Branch had an outstanding warrant in St. Louis County for DWI.

Branch pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of driving while intoxicated — aggravated offender and two counts of misdemeanor driving with a suspended license before Associate Circuit Judge Philip J. Ohlms.

Other conditions of Branch's sentence include using an ignition interlock on his vehicle and completing 480 hours of community service.

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