The state of Wisconsin takes DUI charges very seriously and all major cities including Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse, and Appleton have the same laws and penalties for drunk drivers. With so much on the line, it is important to begin fighting these accusations as soon as possible – the professionals at DUIRights.com are here to help.
Why DUI Rights Will Be Important for Your Case
A knowledgeable DUI attorney will be an invaluable resource for those who are being charged with drinking and driving. Since the state of Wisconsin does allow for plea bargaining in DUI cases, a lawyer will be able to help their client arrange a deal for a lesser charge. In order to set up this kind of deal, the lawyer will likely want to know what happened during the DUI traffic stop and arrest to get a better idea of what DUI rights may have been violated in the process. Some of the questions they will ask include:
- Was the vehicle in operation when the traffic stop occurred?
- Did the arresting officer witness the client driving the vehicle?
- Were the arresting officer’s observations consistent with other eye witnesses who saw the client’s driving behavior?
- Did the arresting officer administer any field sobriety testing during the traffic stop? Did any outside factors affect the outcome of those tests?
- Did the arresting officer administer a Breathalyzer test during the traffic stop? How long after the client’s last alcoholic beverage was this test administered?
- Did the arresting officer recite the client’s Miranda Rights and ensure the client understood those rights?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your Wisconsin DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
Wisconsin OWI Defense
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case.
DUI Laws in Wisconsin
In the state of Wisconsin, law enforcement officials use the term “Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated” or OWI in lieu of “Driving Under the Influence” or DUI. Although the terminology may be different, the crimes are the same and the consequences can be harsh for those who are convicted of this type of crime in Wisconsin.
Using an Ignition Interlock Device in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin, like other states, uses the requirement of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) as part of the punishment for those who are convicted of drinking and driving. An IID is a mechanism that is installed in the offender’s vehicle that works much like a Breathalyzer and is meant to deter them from drinking and driving. Depending on the number of previous offenses the individual has, they may be required to use an IID in order to be able to drive after their conviction. Below are the IID requirements:
- First DUI Offense – No IID Required
- Second DUI Offense – IID Required
- Third DUI Offense – IID Required
- Fourth DUI Offense – IID Required
- Fifth DUI Offense – IID Required
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Individuals who refuse to submit to a chemical test when being arrested for OWI in Wisconsin face immediate licenses suspension regardless if they are found guilty in court:
- First offense – 1-Year License Suspension
- Second offense – 2-Year License Suspension for Offenses within 10 Years of One Another
- Third offense – 3-Year License Suspension for Offenses within 10 Years of One Another
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Wisconsin currently does not have a Zero Tolerance policy for minors found to be drinking and driving and also follows the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) maximums that all other states follow for OWI:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial Drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for an OWI in Wisconsin?
Unlike many other states, there is no mandatory jail time for first offenders of OWI in the state of Wisconsin. Repeat offenders, however, do face lengthy jail sentences:
- First offense – No Jail Time Requirement
- Second offense – 5 Days to 6 Months in Jail
- Third offense – 30 Days to 1 Year in Jail
Wisconsin currently has a 10-year lookback period.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for OWI in Wisconsin
The fines associated with being found guilty of OWI in Wisconsin are about average in the United States:
- First offense – minimum fine of $150, maximum of $300
- Second offense – minimum fine of $300, maximum of $1,100
- Third offense – minimum fine of $600, maximum of $2,000
License Suspension for OWI in Wisconsin
Wisconsin does have a lengthy minimum license suspension period for first time offenders, which only gets longer with the number of offenses an individual has:
- First offense – 6 to 9 Month License Suspension
- Second offense – 12 to 18 Month License Suspension
- Third offense – 2 to 3 Years License Suspension
In Wisconsin, there is no requirement to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for first time offenders but it is mandatory for repeat offenders.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Wisconsin
It is always in the individual’s best interest to secure legal counsel for representation in a DUI case. An experienced DUI or OWI attorney will review your case and let you know all the possible outcomes, whether or not you should plead guilty, and if there is a chance of having your charges reduced to something less serious like reckless driving.
DUI Rights Attorneys in Wisconsin
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a very traumatic experience. It is quite easy to judge others in this position, but the reality is that at one time or another, many people have gotten behind the wheel after a quick drink thinking they were more than fine to drive. You never had the intention of driving while intoxicated, but it just happened. Now, you find yourself in need of a DUI attorney in Wisconsin.
What is Considered DUI in Wisconsin?
In the state of Wisconsin, law enforcement actually calls a DUI an OWI, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are driving in Wisconsin and get behind the wheel after a few drinks, you need to be aware of the blood alcohol content (BAC) considered for a OWI arrest and prosecution. Wisconsin follows the norm in the United States for BAC levels:
- Commercial Drivers, .04 percent
- 21 or older drivers, .08 percent
- Under 21 drivers, .02 percent
Taking Chemical and Roadside Tests after a OWI Stop in Wisconsin
One of the first things you will have to deal with when arrested for an OWI is whether or not to take the roadside and chemical tests. You should consider your actual state and what is going to be more beneficial in your specific case. As far as roadside tests are concerned, you are under no obligation take roadside tests, but keep in mind refusing to take these tests will not bode well when you come in front of the judge.
The chemical tests are a completely different matter. Wisconsin abides by the implied consent law, which means that while you can refuse to take the tests, you will be automatically fined and have your license suspended for doing so. These penalties and fines must be paid and served even if you end up winning your OWI case in court.
Reasons to Hire a DUI/OWI Attorney in Wisconsin
There is plenty of information available on the Web that will tell you that you can plead out your case on your own and there is no need to hire an attorney if you are going to plead guilty to your OWI. What they are not telling you is that regardless of how guilty you are, there are always other options that could benefit you.
For instance, if your BAC was close to the limit, there were no children in the car, and nobody was injured, an attorney may be able to get your charged reduced to wet reckless. This means no OWI conviction on your record. While you may still face penalties and fines, they will not be as severe as OWI penalties.
Your attorney may also be able to find some weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. For more information and a free case evaluation, submit your details in the Free Wisconsin DUI Arrest Evaluation Form!