Deputies with the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Racine County law enforcement officers last month on suspicion of operating snowmobiles under the influence of alcohol in Eagle River.

According to the report filed by Vilas County Deputy Jacob Colassaco on Feb. 11, the two defendants failed to stop at a posted stop sign on a public snowmobile trail at approximately 12:48 a.m. on Trail 13 on Railroad Street in Eagle River.

The drivers of the sleds were Racine Police Investigator Todd Joseph Lauer, 38, and Racine County Sheriff’s Lt. Shawn P. Barker, 50, both of Burlington.

Ahead of the stop, Colassaco stated he observed two snowmobilers traveling southbound accelerate through the stop sign at the intersection of Trail 13 and 1659 Railroad Street. The lead snowmobile, driven by Lauer, then failed to stop at multiple posted stop signs, even cutting in front of a truck and nearly striking it.

According to the report, Colassaco then made the stop and both snowmobile operators got off their snowmobiles to approach him. The two explained they were traveling to Eagle River to get gas and then proceeding back to Conover where they were staying.

“I could detect a strong odor of intoxicants emitting from their persons,” he said in the report, adding that he “observed both to have red, glossy, bloodshot eyes.” He added that Lauer also appeared to have slurred speech.

During the stop, Barker showed Colassaco his law enforcement identification card and told the deputy “they were good.” Lauer also pulled out his wallet, which is when Colassaco saw his police badge.

Lauer stated they had started snowmobiling at about 4 p.m., started drinking at about 6 p.m., and had their last drink at approximately 10 p.m. Barker interjected that they had stopped drinking much earlier than that.

“Shawn appeared defensive as I asked him questions in regards to consuming alcohol,” the report said. “Shawn appeared visibly upset when I explained I needed to continue my investigation.”

Colassaco administered field sobriety tests for both men, which he said indicated they were impaired.

According to the report, Lauer said he believed he was over the legal limit and shouldn’t be driving; however, he did not state that he felt impaired. He then refused the preliminary breath test and was placed under arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI), snowmobile related.

An Intoximeter test was administered to Lauer at the Vilas County Booking Room which showed a reported value of 0.14 blood alcohol content — nearly twice the limit of 0.08.

He was cited with failure to comply with regulatory signs, operating a snowmobile while under the influence of an intoxicant, and operating with alcohol concentration greater than 0.08. He is scheduled to appear in Vilas County Circuit Court March 27.

After Barker’s field sobriety test, he argued that he was not impaired and asked if he could get a ride home, to which Colassaco explained he would be placed under arrest for OWI, snowmobile related. Barker refused both the preliminary breath test and was transported to Vilas County Jail by Deputy Chad Christensen without incident.

Barker was cited with failure to comply with regulatory signs, operating a snowmobile while under the influence of an intoxicant, and refusal to submit to chemical testing. He is scheduled to appear April 3 in Vilas County Circuit Court.