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Walworth County Criminal LawyerWhile the legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21, it is no secret that minors will break the law and consume alcohol. Many times, this drinking will be done at houses, parks, or other areas where the activity can occur discreetly. They may even try to drink at a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol with a fake ID. As a parent, it is best to know what the punishments for underage drinking and other juvenile crimes are, as well as the exceptions when underage drinking is allowed.

Penalties and Exceptions for Underage Drinking

If a minor is caught possessing or drinking alcohol and are between the ages of 17 and 20, they will face an underage drinking charge. Penalties for a first-time underage drinking conviction can include $250 to $500 in fines, a driver’s license suspension of between 30 and 90 days, and participating in community service work or another supervised work program. Minors under the age of 17 will face similar penalties, but will be charged as a juvenile. For both underage and juvenile offenders, trying to purchase alcohol with a fake ID will also result in fines, driver’s license suspension, and community service. Penalties for both underage and juvenile offenders increase with each subsequent conviction. Enrollment in a court-approved alcohol abuse education program may also be part of the sentence for any of the charges.

In Wisconsin, there are some exceptions both to entering an establishment that serves alcohol as well as drinking it on the premises. If the parent, guardian, or spouse of the person is present, a person under 21 can enter the premises of an establishment that is licensed to serve alcohol and can possess or consume alcohol. However, this permission is at the discretion of the establishment, and they can choose not to serve underage people.

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Jefferson County CDL Disqualification LawyerHolding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can increase your likelihood of getting and keeping a job. CDL holders undergo special training and must pass additional tests to qualify for various commercial endorsements on their license, including for hazardous materials, tanker vehicles, passenger buses, school buses, and double and triple trailers. To stay employed as a commercial driver, you must maintain your license. However, some violations will put your CDL at risk, whether you or driving a commercial vehicle or even your private vehicle.

CDL Violations and Penalties in Wisconsin

Some traffic violations may not lead to a CDL disqualification after the first offense but have cumulative effects with additional violations. These include:

Dodge County Criminal Defense LawyerWhether you are taking a cross country road trip, a weekend getaway, or just on your regular commute to work, the roads during the summer season present the risk of accidents and the resulting injuries. Car accidents, speeding and reckless driving, and operating while intoxicated all carry the risk of criminal charges. By taking steps to drive safely, you and your family can enjoy the drive and have a fun summer.

Avoid Traffic Violations in Wisconsin

By driving safely, planning ahead, and maintaining your vehicle, you can help to prevent potentially dangerous situations. Here are some tips to staying safe on the roads.

Drive safely – It is good advice throughout the years to slow down, obey the speed limit and traffic signals, and watch out for other drivers on the road. Limit the distraction in the car while you are driving so you can concentrate on the road and the vehicles around you. Construction zones are more common during the summer too, and they can present dangers such as narrow lanes, reduced speeds, construction workers, and slow-moving construction vehicles. Failure to follow the rules of the road can lead to speeding and reckless driving charges, and in more serious cases felony use of a motor vehicle or even homicide charges involving the use of a motor vehicle.

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Waukesha County Motorcycle Crash LawyerAll users of the road run the risk of being in an accident and incurring an injury during any trip. With less protection than drivers of cars and trucks, motorcycle riders run a higher risk of serious injury and even death if they are involved in an accident. Given this risk, there are preventative actions that riders can take to avoid being in a motorcycle accident and to stay safe on the road.

Take a motorcycle safety course – Before you even head out on the road, it helps to know the ins and outs of riding a motorcycle safely. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers motorcycle safety courses through the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program (WMSP) to earn a Class M motorcycle license. Participants in a course learn how to improve their riding skills and share the road with other vehicles.

Wear proper motorcycle gear – Wisconsin strongly recommends all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet when riding. All riders and passengers under 18 are required to wear a helmet. Additionally, full protective gear including leather or heavy-duty clothing, boots, gloves, and eye protection is strongly encouraged. You should also make yourself more visible to other drivers by wearing high-visibility clothing, especially at night or in poor weather.

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Jefferson County Boating While Intoxicated LawyerSummer is around the corner and Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers will once again be filling up with boats. It is possible, even likely, that some of Wisconsin’s boat drivers will be filling up on beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks. Wisconsin is one of the leading states for intoxicated boating and boating accidents. Alcohol plays a role in one out of every five accidents on the water. Before you get behind the controls of a boat, it is best to know the laws for intoxicated boating and what penalties you may face if caught.

Enjoy Summer, But Be Safe on the Water

For the operator of a private boat over the age of 21, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08, just like for motor vehicles. For operators of commercial boats, the legal limit drops to a BAC of .04, matching that of commercial drivers. If your boat is stopped under suspicion of intoxicated boating, you may be subject to sobriety tests right on the boat. Law enforcement no longer waits to perform the tests until reaching dry land. Unlike motor vehicles, there is no open container law on a boat. This means your boat cannot be stopped simply for having alcohol aboard. In addition to alcohol, you may not operate a boat if you have any detectable level of a restricted controlled substance in your blood.

Under Wisconsin law, fines for a first intoxicated boating offense can be as high as $300. If you are found guilty of a second offense within five years of the first, you face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A third intoxicated boating offense could land you in jail for up to one year and you may be paying fines of up to $2,000. More serious charges can be added if an accident with injuries resulted from your intoxicated boating. All offenders must complete a court-ordered alcohol and drug assessment and complete a certified boating safety course. Additionally, your boat’s certificate will be revoked and a new one must be acquired. However, intoxicated boating charges do not have an impact on your driver’s license.

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