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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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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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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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Posted on in Drunk Driving

Waukesha County DUI Lawyers

Getting a DUI can be detrimental in many ways. You may face driver’s license suspension, jail time, and expensive fines, but you could also face other financial burdens relating to your DUI. One complication is you will probably see an increase in your car insurance rates. With any person’s auto insurance, the rate you pay is typically dependent on the person’s driving record. If you have an OWI conviction on your record, your car insurance company will likely raise your premiums, although the percentage your rate is raised depends on the company.

What Causes Car Insurance to Go Up?

Your insurance rates are usually determined by how much of a risk your insurance company considers you to be. If the insurance company has reason to believe that you are a risky driver, then you will pay more for your insurance coverage. There are a number of factors that affect how your insurance company determines whether you are a risky driver. These include:

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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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