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Proposed changes could lead to increase in successive DUI charges

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense, and a conviction on this type of charge can have a substantial impact on a person's life. Even if a person is able to avoid jail time, the potential penalties for DUI convictions could include loss of driving privileges and significant monetary fines. While a conviction for driving snowmobiles or boats currently has no impact on one's license, officials in the Wisconsin government have proposed a bill that would change how these offenses are treated if it is passed into law.

Lawmakers in the state claim that having separate punishments for drunk driving offenses depending on the type of vehicle involved creates a loophole in the law. Under current law, a person can have two separate convictions on record for a similar crime, and each could count as a first offense depending on the vehicle he or she was operating at the time. These officials have proposed a new bill that would extend the law to include all modes of transportation.

According to the lawmakers, these changes could have a substantial impact on a person's actions and decisions and make them think twice before getting behind the wheel of any vehicle while intoxicated. If the bill is passed into law, it could lead to an increase in successive charges for many individuals. With each successive offense, the penalties for a similar crime also increase in severity, and those with four or more offenses could find themselves facing felony charges.

Individuals who face DUI charges may wish to protect themselves against undesirable consequences, but they might need assistance in the process. By speaking with an attorney early on, a person in Wisconsin could obtain a better understanding of the situation and advice on how best to proceed. A defense attorney can examine the charges against a client and assist in pursuing the most favorable outcome possible during court proceedings.

Source: nbc15.com, "Drunk drivers could lose snowmobile, boat privileges", Hannah Flood, Feb. 7, 2018

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