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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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Walworth County criminal defense attorney OWI

Drunk driving is a threat to everyone on Wisconsin’s roads, resulting in over 5,000 car accidents each year and over 30 percent of the state’s annual car accident fatalities. For this reason, Wisconsin treats operating while intoxicated (OWI) as a serious criminal offense, with possible penalties including 10 years or more in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. However, first-time offenders in Wisconsin usually do not face criminal charges, and are therefore unlikely to see the full extent of these penalties. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can work to ensure a fair outcome for your case, allowing you to reform your behavior without an excessive negative impact on your life.

How Does Wisconsin Define Operating While Intoxicated?

A person over the age of 21 can be arrested for OWI if he or she is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent, as determined by a blood or breath test at the time of the traffic stop. However, even if your BAC is below 0.08, an officer may arrest you if he or she has reason to believe that alcohol or any other drug is impairing your ability to drive safely.

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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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