A Wisconsin man was recently arrested on his seventh drunk driving offense and will now face a felony charge due to his prior arrests. The story of his seventh OWI arrest, however, provides readers of this DUI and drunk driving defense law blog with some insight into what law enforcement officials look for when they stop individuals on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
For example, the police involved with the man's stop allegedly noted that the individual's speech was slurred when they questioned him about his drinking. Additionally, the man apparently told officers that he had consumed several alcoholic beverages prior to getting into his car. Finally, law enforcement officials claimed to have observed that the man had an open can of beer in his car at the time that he was stopped for suspected drunk driving.
After allegedly making the previously mentioned observations, police subjected the man to field sobriety testing, which they claim he failed. His performance on the field sobriety tests, along with the alleged observation of an open container, the man's unclear speech, and his claim to have been drinking, all may be used as evidence of his intoxication should his seventh drunk driving arrest go to trial.
Individuals who are stopped for suspected drunk driving have rights during and after their traffic stops. Should they find themselves facing drunk driving charges they are entitled to secure their own legal representatives to help them combat the charges lodged against them. The man in this story will apparently have some evidence to overcome in the event that he chooses to fight the criminal charges, but he still has the right to challenge it in hopes of avoiding harsh penalties. Like others, he may choose to do so with the help of a drunk driving defense attorney who may be able to address evidentiary issues and assist in crafting a defense strategy that suits the situation.
Source: New Richmond News, "Baldwin man charged with seventh OWI offense," Mike Longaecker, April 14, 2016