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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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Waukesha, WI DUI lawyers

Wisconsin police law enforcement and the courts do not take OWI charges lightly. In the state of Wisconsin, even a first offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated can result in a fine of up to $300, a $435 OWI surcharge, a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation, and a significant mark on your criminal record.

In recent years, Wisconsin lawmakers have pushed to make consequences for first-time OWI offenses more strict, although lawmakers typically punish OWI charges to the fullest extent of the law. However, there are certain elements a strong DUI defense can focus on to help mitigate the consequences.

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Delafield DUI lawyer

Throughout the United States, the general trend for DUI arrests and convictions has been a good one — for the past couple of years, the number of DUI arrests and convictions has been decreasing. Despite this, operating a vehicle while intoxicated is still a big issue in Wisconsin. One of the ways states have tried to prevent DUIs is by placing a suspension or revocation on the offender’s driver’s licenses. 

While this has been effective in lowering DUI rates, it can greatly affect someone’s life who is arrested for OWI, including their ability to earn a living and complete household duties. Getting your driving privileges back can also be a long and tedious process, and one best navigated by a driver’s license reinstatement attorney.

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Delafield DUI Lawyer

In most states, a DUI is considered a criminal offense (typically a misdemeanor), even for a first offense. This is not the case in Wisconsin, where a first-time OWI is treated more like a traffic violation. Two Wisconsin lawmakers have proposed bills that would make DUI penalties in Wisconsin more severe. One of these bills aims to increase penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Wisconsin, something the lawmakers say is long overdue. 

Wisconsin DUI Laws

Under the proposed bill, first-time OWI charges would no longer be treated as traffic offenses. They would become criminal misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. Though alcohol-related crashes have decreased in recent years, a good portion of Wisconsin DUI offenses are committed by first-time offenders. The lawmakers say this bill would help deter people from drinking and driving even further. 

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Delafield OWI Lawyer

In an effort to reduce the number of people who choose to drink and drive, many states - including Wisconsin - have adopted a number of laws and regulations over the decades to deter people from breaking the law. Most states now have in place some version of a program that requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicles of DUI offenders. In Wisconsin, 2010 marked the first year mandatory IID requirements went into effect. IIDs are now required for all repeat OWI offenders, all chemical test refusals, and all first-time DUIs in which the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is more than .15.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An IID is a small electronic device that is wired into your vehicle’s ignition system. Before you are able to start the vehicle, you must blow into the device, which will then determine your BAC. In Wisconsin, if your BAC is over .02, the vehicle will not start. The device will allow you to have three attempts in five minutes for each requested breath sample. After a vehicle starts, the device will prompt you for other samples at various intervals while the engine is running. The date, time, and BAC of each and every sample is recorded and stored.

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