State Supreme Court says prior convictions count - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State Supreme Court says prior convictions count


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court says that out-of-state convictions for violating "zero tolerance" drunken driving laws count in Wisconsin, even though similar convictions in Wisconsin would not count as prior offenses.

The 5-1 decision released Thursday comes in the case of a man who faced a fourth offense drunken driving charge in Wisconsin, with prosecutors counting two prior suspensions of his driver's license under the Illinois "zero tolerance" law.

The defendant argued the Illinois convictions should not count because they aren't if they happen in Wisconsin.

But the Wisconsin Supreme Court says Wisconsin law calls for counting "zero tolerance" offenses in other states, even though they aren't counted if they happened in Wisconsin.

The dissenting justice says that wasn't the Legislature's intent when it passed the law.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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