Wisconsin News

Former Democratic Party spokesman convicted of OWI

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) - A former Wisconsin Democratic Party has been convicted of first-offense drunken driving, even though it was his third arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Graeme Zielinski of Milwaukee pleaded no contest to a first-offense OWI this past week in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

He was originally charged with third-offense OWI because of previous drunken driving convictions in Virginia in 1999 and in 1992 in Burlington, Wis., just after his 18th birthday.

However, the Daily Jefferson County Union reports, loopholes in Wisconsin's OWI law allowed Zielinski to be punished only as a first offender, despite his prior convictions.

Zielinski issued a statement apologizing for his actions Thursday.

Zielinski lost his job as Democratic party spokesman in March after comparing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

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