The ten year look back only applies to second offense OWI offenses.
For example, if a person had been convicted of an OWI 1st in 2001, then a second OWI charge in 2012 would have to be charged as a first offense as well. However, a third offense occurring in 2013 would be properly charged as a third offense under Wisconsin law despite there being no prior conviction for a second offense. Similarly, a 1st in 2001, a 2nd in 2002 would still leave a 2013 charged OWI as a third offense, despite the ten year gap between the second and third offenses.
The prosecutor MAY be able to properly charge a fifth offense based upon an out of state OWI charge that did not result in a conviction for an OWI under certain circumstances if the defendant had been subjected to a license revocation or suspension.
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