If you had to rank the worst mistakes you've made in your life, your recent DUI arrest would probably be high on the list. What may have begun as a hilarious party or a fun night with friends ended in the back of a police car. Now concern for your future has probably filled you with anxiety. The penalties for drunk driving in Wisconsin can follow you for many years, even if this is your first offense.
It is no secret that the state of Wisconsin has relatively harsh laws when it comes to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Less well known are the state laws regarding driving while under the influence of other substances. Alcohol may be the most prevalent intoxicant, but operating a vehicle under the influence of most drugs, including many prescription and over-the-counter drugs, can result in an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) conviction. When considering situations in which a driver may be charged, the single biggest factor is whether or not drivers are actually impaired.
For anyone who has engaged in drunken driving, encountering a Wisconsin police officer on the roads can lead to a traffic stop, sobriety test and possible arrest. Police officers are trained to identify and pull over individuals that they suspect of being intoxicated and have the authority to make arrests for DUI. The state has set a minimum blood alcohol count of .08 as the threshold for determining if a driver is intoxicated, and police officers test for that minimum when they make traffic stops.
Drinking is a social activity that often happens outside of a person's home. Whether at a local Sheboygan party, celebrating out at a bar or just out for dinner with friends, alcohol consumption can sometimes cause people to do things that they normally would not do. The effects of alcohol also do not discriminate and almost anyone can suffer an unfortunate situation while under its influence.
Wisconsin drivers who are convicted of repeated drunk driving offenses can face progressively harsher penalties for their subsequent convictions. With jail sentences and fines standard for drunk driving charges, some people may expect that the consequences of a drunk driving conviction are sufficient to deter further arrests.
Prosecutors, judges and police in Wisconsin will have to make some adjustments after the recent Supreme Court ruling on warrantless blood draws in OWI cases. Wisconsin and 28 other states currently don't require a search warrant to draw blood from a person suspected of drunk driving. In effect, police have been able to forcibly administer a blood test without a driver's consent.
A DUI conviction in Wisconsin comes with serious penalties. If a person is faced with drunk driving charges, he or she should never just give up and let prosecutors have their way. It's important to fight DUI charges to ensure the protection of the defendant's freedom, future and wallet.
A drunk driving conviction in the state of Wisconsin can have serious consequences. Not only could the individual face jail time but also fines and the loss of driving privileges. Proof is needed for a conviction, however, and for many, that proof comes in the form of a blood or urine test that shows the driver's blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the traffic stop. While most drivers are reticent to take such a test, a recent traffic stop of a woman suspected of OWI actually led to her near-accurate prediction of her own BAC and a subsequent arrest.
When law enforcement officers stop a driver on suspicion of driving under the influence, the driver has the right to refuse field sobriety tests. This can sometimes result in the police requiring that the driver submit to blood-alcohol tests to determine drunkenness or sobriety. Now the United States Supreme Court may rule that drivers can refuse such blood testing in the absence of a search warrant.
The penalties for DUI offenses in Wisconsin generally become more severe with each conviction. The first conviction on drunk driving charges can result in fines, the loss of driving privileges and mandatory alcohol counseling.