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Student charged in fellow student's death now charged with DUI

A drunk driving accusation and conviction can lead to fines, jail and a suspended driver's license. Often, authorities will use field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is intoxicated and then use those test results to argue their case in court. Fighting these charges requires a dedicated legal advocate.

A former hockey recruit for University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie is facing charges of driving under the influence. Police stopped a driver who had reportedly run a red light at 3 a.m. on Christmas morning. After the 23-year-old man was given field sobriety tests, police claimed he was intoxicated.

A breathalyzer test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of .065 percent, but the local authorities in Alaska, where the arrest occurred, said they could still charge a person with DUI even if he or she does not meet or exceed the legal limit of .08 percent.

Police quickly discovered the man was on probation in Menomonie. In November 2011, the man pled guilty to disorderly conduct related to the death of another UW-Stout student after a bar fight. The man now accused had been sentenced to 90 days in jail and one year of probation.

Authorities in Wisconsin say the accused drunk driver had permission to be in Alaska and that they must wait to see how the case against the man plays out before determining if he violated his probation. The accused man is currently listed as a member of the hockey team at St. Mary's University in Winona.

Anyone stopped for suspicion of drunk driving should understand that field sobriety tests, including breathalyzers, can yield inaccurate results if the machine isn't calibrated properly. Moreover, prosecutors in Wisconsin will have a hard time proving that a driver was intoxicated if his or her blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit to driver at the time of the arrest.

To ensure that their rights are protected inside and outside the courtroom, Wisconsin residents accused of OWI will need an aggressive legal advocate in court.

Source: WEAU, "Police arrest subject of 2010 student death case for DUI," Dec. 27, 2012

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