In Wisconsin, multiple OWI offenses mean increased penalties, including the suspension of a driver's license and even jail time. What people accused of drunk driving need to know is that defenses are available to help protect the defendant's rights.
A young man from Oshkosh will need this kind of defense after being charged with a fourth DUI. A police officer claims the 21-year-old revved his engine and squealed his tires as he drove away from a local bar. The young man again maneuvered his SUV into the bar parking lot, negotiated a concrete barrier and got the vehicle stuck in a snow bank, according to police.
Allegedly, a short foot chase ensued, and the officer claims the driver was holding a glass bottle when he exited his vehicle. In addition to the fourth-offense charge, the defendant is accused of jumping bail and resisting arrest.
It is important to keep in mind the severe penalties associated with a fourth DUI conviction. The legal blood-alcohol limit to drive in these situations is lower than for other drivers. For most people, 0.08 percent is the legal limit, but for a person facing a fourth OWI charge, the limit is 0.02 percent, making the prosecutor's job much easier.
In addition, a fourth drunk driving conviction carries a felony status if the conviction happens within five years of the most recent DUI. Individuals who are up against this kind of charge could be sentenced to between 60 days and a year in jail. There is also the chance that the defendant, if convicted, will have his or her driver's license revoked for three years, as well as an ignition interlock installed. Fines also increase in this kind of situation.
Clearly, the stakes are high, and Wisconsin residents accused of a subsequent DUI need to do what is legally in their power to fight the charge.
Source: postcrescent.com, "Oshkosh man arrested for OWI after squealing tires, getting stuck in snowbank," March 26, 2013