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OWI No. 13 … keep her off the road please!

November 12, 2009 - Per Peterson
We know y’all like your beer in Wisconsin, where drinking is the closest thing to a state pastime as you can get, but you need to be smart about it — at least smarter than a western Wisconsin woman, who this week pleaded guilty to her 13th drunken driving charge. The 51-year-old St. Croix Falls woman was arrested in Barron County last June while on extended supervision for drunken driving convictions in Eau Claire and Burnett counties, the AP said. She was sentenced to three years in prison in Eau Claire County last month for violating terms of her extended supervision. In September, she received 18 months in prison for violating her supervision in Burnett County. White, whose previous drunken driving convictions date back to 1991 and happened in Minnesota and Wisconsin, will be sentenced on the Barron County drunken driving conviction Dec. 15. This begs the question: How on earth was she even allowed to be put in a position to drive? Seriously. 13 DWIs? In Wisconsin, they call them OWIs, or Operating While Intoxicated. I hope they mean operating a vehicle. Under Wisconsin law, for a second OWI, you’re sent to jail for not less than five days, or you must do 30 days of community service. Also, any driver with two OWIs in a five-year span are subject to immobilization or ignition interlock requirements on all vehicles for which the person’s name appears on the title or registration; and they’re not eligible for an occupational license for one year, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said. The Web site doesn’t include what would happen to someone with 13 OWIs, probably because the state’s DOT can’t fathom the thought of someone screwing up that many times. This woman has an obvious problem and should be put away for a while. In Minnesota, she’d be thrown in jail for up to seven years and fined $14,000. She’d also get specially-coded license plates and have to go to treatment and abstain from drinking for a year. In other words, she’d be off the road for a long, long time — maybe enough time to kick the habit.


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