The state of Wisconsin takes drunk driving seriously. The consequences of a conviction for drunk driving charges can be serious and long-term, particularly if it is a repeat offense or if the drunk driving results in injury or death due to a traffic violation or car accident. Wisconsin's state laws are tiered, however, so the consequences for a first offense are much more lenient than for the fourth or fifth offense.
On Jan. 21, court records were released that showed that a 45-year-old man from Sheboygan was given a prison sentence for his ninth OWI conviction. The man opted to plead guilty to the charge, which could have resulted in a five-year prison sentence.
A circuit court judge instead opted to sentence him to prison for three and a half years. Upon his release, he will be subject to an additional five years of supervision. It is not clear what the supervision will entail.
The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred in August 2012, when the man drove his vehicle into a minivan occupied by a woman and three very young children in a gas station parking lot. After crashing into the minivan, he entered the gas station without moving his vehicle. When he came out, he denied hitting the minivan, got into his vehicle and drove away.
The woman noticed that he appeared to be drunk and took a picture of his license plate before calling the police. When officers found him, the man refused to participate in sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested at his home.
Multiple drunk driving convictions can result in license suspension or revocation, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device, hefty fines and prison time. If anyone is injured, the penalties can be even more serious. Before making any legal decisions, it is important that those facing repeat OWI charges know their rights and options as well as what consequences they could face.
Source: sheboyganpress.com, "Sheboygan man sent to prison for 9th OWI," Jan. 21, 2013