A DUI at home refers to being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while operating a vehicle on private property, such as in a garage or driveway, rather than on a public road or highway. Even if you are not driving on public roads, you can still be charged with a DUI if you operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol on private property. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, or other motorized vehicles.
Did you know that a 911 call alleging your car swerving on the road can result in a police officer visiting your home? Suspicion of drunk driving could result in an unexpected appearance by law enforcement.
While we encourage our clients to cooperate with the police, we discourage them from compromising their rights. The police showing up at your home does not require you to respond to knocks or ringing doorbells. Unless presented with a warrant, you are under no obligation to allow the police entry to your home or answer their questions. If you admit to driving, even if the police never saw you, you may still be arrested and charged with DUI. If you open the door, questions regarding your whereabouts during the initial 911 call can be met with politely closing the door.
The bottom line is this: providing the police with any information will likely lead to an arrest for a non-driving DUI, even if you are at home.
What are the Penalties for a DUI at Home in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, the penalties for a DUI at home are the same as those for a standard DUI offense. The penalties can vary depending on several factors, including the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the offense and any prior DUI convictions.
For a first-time offense, penalties for a DUI at home may include the following:
- A fine of up to $1,100
- License revocation for six to nine months
- Completion of an alcohol assessment and treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that the driver operates
For a second or subsequent offense, the penalties are more severe and can include:
- Higher fines
- Longer license revocation periods
- Longer mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment programs
- Longer ignition interlock device requirements
- Possible imprisonment, particularly for a third or subsequent offense
Additionally, in Wisconsin, the penalties for a DUI may be enhanced if the driver had an exceptionally high BAC, was driving with a passenger under 16, or caused an accident resulting in injury or death.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test if I am Arrested for a DUI at Home?
In Wisconsin, if you are arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusal to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test can immediately suspend your driver's license and be used against you in court as evidence of guilt.
Wisconsin has an implied consent law, which means that by operating a motor vehicle on public roads in the state, you have already consented to submit to a chemical test if you are suspected of driving under the influence.
What Defenses are Available for a DUI at Home?
Several defenses may be available for a DUI at home, depending on the circumstances of the case. Here are some common defenses that a DUI attorney may use:
- Lack of Probable Cause - The police must have had a valid reason to stop or arrest you. If they did not have probable cause, any evidence gathered may be inadmissible in court.
- Faulty Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results - Breathalyzer and blood test results can be inaccurate for several reasons, such as improper calibration or mishandling of samples. An attorney can challenge the validity of the test results and seek to have them excluded from evidence.
- Violation of Miranda Rights - If you were not informed of your Miranda rights during your arrest, any statements you made to the police may be inadmissible in court.
- Challenging Field Sobriety Tests - Field sobriety tests can be challenged on several grounds, such as improper administration or medical conditions that may have affected your performance.
- Constitutional Violations - Any violation of your constitutional rights during the traffic stop, arrest, or testing process can be used as a defense.
It is important to note that the defenses available will depend on the specific facts of your case, and an experienced DUI attorney can help you determine the best course of action.
Contact Our Sheboygan DUI At Home Attorney Today
At Melowski & Singh, we do not merely boast of our accomplishments. We put them on display. Dennis Melowski — the only one selected ten times for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers list by Law & Politics and Milwaukee Magazine for DUI defense from 2005 to 2011 — has successfully defended clients facing non-DUI charges. Success means acquittals or reduced costs, not minor reductions in jail time or fines.
Far too much is at stake to allow a conviction for DUI based on a statement from a witness not trained as a police officer. No initial stop and no immediate testing of any kind can lead to the acquittal of non-driving DUI charges.
Contact Melowski & Singh today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DUI at home lawyer in Sheboygan!