A commercial driver's license allows a driver to haul and contract to haul freight and goods on roads throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the country. Because commercial drivers often have to travel long distances and in some cases carry heavy loads in their vehicles, they are regulated by federal laws in terms of when and how long they can operate without rest. States like Wisconsin also regulate commercial drivers and impose penalties on them when they are suspected of drinking and driving.
As readers of this Wisconsin drunk driving defense blog may be well aware, a drunk driving or DUI charge can impose significant burdens on an affected party's life. A DUI conviction can prevent a person from exercising certain rights and privileges. It can hold a person back in his career and prevent him from advancing in other areas of his life.
The potential consequences of a DUI arrest in Wisconsin are serious. Although a DUI first offense is not a criminal offense, a conviction can result in license suspension and hefty fines. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above, or a conviction of DUI with a minor passenger can result in mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Second and subsequent offenses can result in a jail sentence and an ignition interlock device.
A Wisconsin drunk driving stop can happen very quickly. One moment a Wisconsin driver is traveling down the road and in the next, his rearview mirror is filled with the flashing lights of a squad car. A thousand thoughts can run through a driver's head as he waits for the officer to approach his window.
A drunk driving charge can have a devastating impact on the life of a Wisconsin resident. An arrest or conviction for a DUI offense can harm the person's reputation and how others view his character. Such harm can result in the person losing the trust of friends, family members and even his employer.
There are a variety of penalties that a Wisconsin resident may face if he or she is convicted of drunk driving. Depending upon whether the conviction is his first, second or one of several more, he or she can face fines, jail time, the suspension or revocation of his license and other sanctions. Some drivers also are subjected to DUI schools, also known as alcohol education programs.
According to the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation (PIRE), impaired driving is involved in close to 40% of the motor vehicle accidents that occur on Wisconsin roads. The organization further claims that an impaired motorist drives one out of every 130 miles driven throughout the state. Drunk driving does occur in the state of Wisconsin; however, local law enforcement's focus on incarcerating intoxicated drivers may not be the only way to improve safety conditions on Wisconsin roads and highways.
Drunk driving charges can impose a hefty toll upon those facing convictions. The emotional stress of knowing that a license could be lost or that jail time could be imposed can be severe. And the financial costs associated with getting through a DUI/OWI can be even worse.
Drunk driving charges are serious, regardless of whether a person has faced similar allegations in the past. Though critics of Wisconsin's first time DUI offense penalty of a civil ticket state that a ticket is too lenient for the crime of drunk driving, the costs and hardships of facing DUI charges can affect a person for a long time. Individuals facing multiple subsequent DUIs have always faced tougher penalties than first time offenders, and a recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court provides some clarity on how some alleged offenders will be punished for engaging in multiple DUI crimes.
Just as Wisconsin drivers can face drunk driving charges while traveling out of state, non-Wisconsin residents can also face similar charges while driving through the Badger State. During holidays and other periods of peak travel, motorists can find themselves facing criminal charges for allegedly operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. When local or out-of-state drivers find themselves facing Wisconsin DUI charges they sometimes seek the counsel of Wisconsin DUI defense lawyers.