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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Waukesha Lawyer for OWI defenseDriving under the influence, which is known as Operating While Intoxicated or OWI in Wisconsin, is a serious criminal offense, and a conviction can lead to significant fines, the revocation of a person’s driver’s license, and a prison sentence. While most people understand the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol and the consequences they may face for doing so, some may not realize that they can face the same charges if they drive while under the influence of marijuana or certain types of prescription drugs, such as opioids. By understanding how Wisconsin law addresses these situations and working with an attorney who is experienced in defending against these types of charges, a driver can determine their best options for defense following an arrest for OWI involving marijuana or other drugs.

Wisconsin OWI Laws Regarding Drugged Driving

The laws in Wisconsin define a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent as the point at which a person is considered to be intoxicated. They also state that a driver cannot operate a motor vehicle if they have any amount of a controlled substance that can be detected in their bloodstream. These substances include marijuana, as well as other drugs and prescription medications. In addition, the law states that it is illegal for a person to drive if they have used any intoxicant or combination of substances that would cause them to be unable to operate a vehicle safely. This means that even if a person has a BAC below the legal limit, they could still face OWI charges because the combination of alcohol with other drugs impaired their ability to drive safely.

While the laws regarding the use of controlled substances while driving are clear, these cases may be complicated by the fact that it is not always easy to determine whether a driver is intoxicated because of these substances. After pulling a driver over on suspicion of OWI, a police officer may ask them to submit to a portable breathalyzer test to get an estimate of their BAC and determine whether they are over the legal limit. However, there is no equivalent test to determine whether a driver has marijuana or other restricted substances in their system.


Waukesha Lawyer for CDL DisqualificationsWhile traffic tickets can be troublesome for any driver, they can be especially problematic for drivers of commercial vehicles. These drivers are required to complete additional training and pass a variety of tests to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and maintaining a valid CDL is necessary to be able to continue working in this profession. Because of this, commercial drivers will usually be looking to avoid any activities that could threaten their CDL and their livelihood. Drivers should be aware that certain traffic violations could lead to the disqualification of their CDL, meaning that they will be unable to drive a commercial vehicle while their license is disqualified.

Wisconsin Traffic Violations and CDL Disqualification

The most common violation that could lead to a CDL disqualification is drunk driving, which is referred to in Wisconsin as Operating While Intoxicated or OWI. Commercial drivers have a lower limit than other drivers for the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that they can have while driving. If a driver has a BAC of .04 percent or higher when operating a commercial motor vehicle, they could not only face OWI charges, but they will also be subject to a one-year CDL disqualification. A three-year disqualification will apply in cases involving a HAZMAT violation in which a person was transporting hazardous materials.

Commercial drivers will also be subject to a one-year CDL disqualification if they are convicted of OWI while driving a non-commercial vehicle. A second OWI conviction in any vehicle will result in a lifetime CDL disqualification.


Milwaukee DUI Defense attorneyFrom fines and jail time to a criminal record, a DUI comes with many consequences. People with DUI convictions may have a more difficult time securing employment and strained relationships with their family members and friends. Taking the proper steps immediately after your arrest, however, can improve your chances of a more favorable outcome.

Steps to Take After a DUI Charge

Although you may feel nervous and scared right now, you must regain your composure and do what is necessary to protect your future. By taking the appropriate action at the appropriate time, you can help your own case as you move forward:

Here are a few steps to take after getting charged with a DUI in Wisconsin:


Waukesha County OWI defense lawyerMany adults like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two when they spend time with friends or go out to eat. However, those beverages could get you into trouble if you are not careful. In all 50 states, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Wisconsin, OWI penalties can be expensive, especially if you have to pay other costs, like for an ignition interlock device (IID). During a traffic stop, police officers will constantly be looking for evidence or anything that can prove that you were, in fact, driving while you were intoxicated. If you are pulled over for OWI, you should know that you have rights.

Rights During an OWI Traffic Stop

While you may feel helpless when you are pulled over by police, it is important to realize that you do have rights that you can exercise that may protect you if you are charged. Some of the most important rights include:

  • Right to Remain Silent: Even during a traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. The only information that you are required to give to the police is your identification. You do not have to answer questions about what you have been doing and where you are heading. If you wish to invoke this right, you should inform the officer.


Milwaukee County criminal defense attorney OWI

Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Wisconsin carries stiff penalties regardless of the situation. However, operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) with a child in the car can incur even harsher penalties. Drunk driving is estimated to cause over one-third of traffic fatalities in Wisconsin. Sadly, many intoxicated driving accident victims are children. Because of this, Wisconsin has instituted enhanced penalties for OWI offenders who have a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle.  

OWI With a Minor Passenger in Wisconsin

The severity of the penalties someone faces for drunk driving varies significantly depending on the driver’s history. First-time OWI offenses usually only result in civil penalties. The offender must pay a fine and cannot drive for a license revocation period of up to nine months. However, if a driver has been charged with OWI in the past and is arrested for a second or subsequent OWI, he or she may face criminal consequences.

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