355 Austin Circle, Suite 110, Delafield, WI 53018
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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Milwaukee County OWI defense lawyer

Getting pulled over by a police officer for any reason is an intimidating experience. When you are stopped because an officer suspects you may be driving while you are intoxicated, it can be even more nerve-wracking. Experiments have shown that most people will obey commands from law enforcement just because the police officer is wearing a uniform, but not every command from a police officer must be followed. In certain situations, you have the right to refuse commands, which can sometimes benefit the outcome of your case. It is important to understand your rights if you are pulled over on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin. 

Right to Remain Silent

The United States Constitution states that all American citizens have the right against self-incrimination. This means you have the right to remain silent and not answer police questions when you are stopped for a traffic violation. One of the most common questions that officers ask when they stop someone is, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” If you answer yes to that question, you are basically admitting your guilt. The best thing to do is to reply to that question with, “No, officer, I do not know.”

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Milwaukee County DUI defense attorney

In recent years, police officers and lawmakers around the country have paid more attention to those who choose to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OWI). Because of this, the number of deaths related to people who were driving under the influence (DUI) has decreased, but it still remains a problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 11,000 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol impairment in 2017. Penalties for drunk driving vary by state but are serious no matter where you are. The penalties become even more strict if a child is in your automobile when you are caught driving under the influence.

Wisconsin OWI Penalties

If you are stopped on suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence in Wisconsin, you can be charged with OWI, whether or not your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or more. For example, if you fail a field sobriety test (FST), and the officer determines you are intoxicated beyond a safe point to drive, you may be arrested and charged with drunk driving. As a first-time OWI offender, you can face a fine of $150 to $300 in addition to a $435 OWI surcharge, and your driver's license will be revoked for six to nine months. If your BAC is .15 or higher, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device or participate in a 24/7 sobriety program for one year.

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Waukesha County OWI defense lawyer

Drinking alcohol is a large part of American culture, especially for younger people. Not surprisingly, those age groups are also the ones who are at a higher risk of being involved in drunk driving accidents. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2017. The NHTSA also states that the most effective way of stopping drunk driving accidents is through preventing them from occurring in the first place. Here are a few tips that you can use to make sure you do not find yourself being charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin:

  • Make sure you have a designated driver. Before you even leave for the night, you should make sure you have a designated driver in place. This person should agree not to drink alcohol and promise to drive everyone home at the end of the night.

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Waukesha County OWI defense lawyer boating under the influence

With summer comes the welcome of warm weather, and people typically like to spend more time outside. For many Wisconsin residents, boating is a fun outdoor pastime. What some people may not know is that many of the same restrictions that are placed on drivers regarding drugs or alcohol are also true for boat operators. Thus, who are boating while under the influence can be charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). Even though relaxing on the water with a drink in hand may seem like a perfect summer day, it can pose serious consequences for those who are not responsible about it.

Wisconsin OWI Laws

Laws are very similar when it comes to the legal operation of motor vehicles and watercraft in Wisconsin. You are not permitted to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more when you are operating a motor vehicle or a boat. For the first offense, you could be fined up to $500. A second offense carries up to $1,000 in fines, in addition to possible jail time. A third offense results in up to $2,000 in fines and 30 days to one year in jail. You will also be required to complete a boating safety course and obtain a certificate of completion.

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Waukesha County OWI lawyer

Wisconsin is the only state in the country that does not treat a first offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) as a criminal offense. Currently, it treats a first-time OWI as a traffic violation, although some lawmakers and citizens are currently trying to change that. 

With multiple OWIs, you can face harsh penalties, such as incarceration, long-term driver’s license suspension, and heavy fines. One option available to third- or fourth-time OWI offenders is Wisconsin’s Alcohol Treatment Court.

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