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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, one of four candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court, sentenced Lynne M. Shirikian in February 2021 to three years of probation.

Shirikian had pleaded guilty to fifth-offense operating while intoxicated. Her blood-alcohol concentration at the time of her arrest was .299, nearly four times the Wisconsin legal limit of .08.

Dorow later denied the prosecution’s request to resentence Shirkian. The prosecution appealed, arguing that state law required a minimum sentence of one year in jail.

On Feb. 1, 2023, the state Court of Appeals issued an opinion agreeing with the prosecution. The court ordered Dorow to resentence Shirikian.

More than 770,000 licensed Wisconsin drivers — or nearly one in five — have at least one conviction for operating while intoxicated, and more than 20,000 have at least five such convictions, the Wisconsin State Journal reported in December 2022.

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Wisconsin Circuit Court Access: Wisconsin Circuit Court Access

Wisconsin Courts: Wisconsin Appeals Court Opinion

Wisconsin State Journal: Drunken drivers in Wisconsin

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.