Consequences of Drunk Driving in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is among the states that rate the highest in drunk driving. In fact, more than 33,000 people were convicted for drunk driving offenses in the state in 2012. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, alcohol-related crashes have killed 223 people and injured almost 3,000 in the same year, accounting for approximately 36% of deadly traffic crashes.
Being the 43rd state to lower the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08% since 2003, the laws for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) have become tougher and offenders are bound to face some very serious fines and penalties. If you’re charged with drunk driving in Wisconsin or Operating After Revocation (OAR) in Wisconsin, you will need a skilled Waukesha lawyer or other attorneys in your locality to disprove the accusation or help lower the penalties.
If you are an individual of legal age (21), you’ll be charged with OWI when you’re driving:
• with a BAC 0.08% and above;
• with a measurable amount of any controlled and restricted substance in the bloodstream;
• while under the influence of a controlled drug or substance;
• while under the influence of an intoxicant such as, but not limited to, alcohol, illegal or controlled drugs, prescription drugs or other chemical substances.
When you get arrested for drunk driving, you will be asked for a blood or breath sample for chemical testing. If you refuse, you may face automatic license suspension, imprisonment, vehicle impoundment, and a fine. These, along with driving record points, also increase for subsequent convictions.
Initial conviction penalties for a convicted OWI driver are aimed to educate him and change his adverse driving habits. He will be subjected to an alcohol or drug use examination by a trained counselor to determine whether a drug or alcohol problem is present and to evaluate whether the state should put him under a counseling or educational program. The OWI driver may also be issued an occupational license which permits him to drive a vehicle to and from home, work or school, as well as being required to install ignition interlock devices on his vehicle.
It is also important to note that the punishment is more severe when someone gets injured or killed in the crash. An OWI driver may face heavy charges such as negligent homicide, which will necessitate the representation of experienced Waukesha DUL lawyers from firms such as Huppertz and Powers, S.C. The penalties also double when he drives drunk with a minor (below age 16) on board. Needless to say, drunk driving should be avoided at all costs.
(Source: Wisconsin DUI and OWI Laws, Fines and Penalties, DUI.DrivingLaws.org)