A man in Wisconsin could face charges for drinking and driving for the tenth time after he failed a sobriety test and a breath test.
Recently, a Wisconsin man was arrested after a breath test indicated that he had been drinking and after he failed a sobriety test, states the Chicago Tribune. The man, who now faces legal consequences for drinking and driving, was charged with his tenth drunk-driving offense. The man first received a conviction for intoxicated driving in 1994.
The man was originally pulled over for erratic driving and because the tail light on the car he was driving was broken. Once the man was stopped, the law enforcement official conducting the traffic stop noticed that the man's eyes were bloodshot and smelled alcohol on his breath. When the law enforcement official asked the man how much alcohol he had consumed, the man responded that he had not been drinking, but had eaten beer-battered fish at a fish fry.
How Wisconsin Defines Impaired Driving
While some may believe that operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level above the legal limit is the only way to be charged with intoxicated driving, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation states that a person can be charged for this offense if he or she:
- Has a BAC level above the legal limit of .08
- Is under the influence of any controlled substance or drug
- Is under the influence of an intoxicant
- Has a detectable amount of a restricted substance in his or her bloodstream
However, drivers with three or more prior OWI convictions on their record are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a BAC level greater than .02.
OWI Penalties in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the severity of the OWI penalties a person faces depends on the number of prior offenses on his or her record. For example, the DOT states that a person who drinks and drives for the first time may have to pay a fine between $150 and $300 and may have his or her driving privileges revoked for a period of six to nine months.
In comparison, a driver who is charged for intoxicated driving for his or her tenth time, like the man who claimed that he had not consumed any alcohol and only eaten beer-battered fish, may have to pay a fine of up to $25,000 and spend between four and 12.5 years in prison. Additionally, a driver who receives his or her tenth OWI may lose his or her driving privileges for two to three years.
Seek the Assistance of an Attorney
Drivers charged with intoxicated driving in Wisconsin, regardless of whether it is their first time or their tenth time, face penalties that have the potential to harm them legally and financially. If you were arrested for drinking and driving, consult with an attorney in your area to find out what your legal rights are.
Keywords: drunk driving, DUI, OWI, penalties