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Waukesha Criminal Law Blog

How to avoid getting arrested for drunk driving

The best way to handle a drunk driving charge in Wisconsin is to avoid getting arrested in the first place. Aside from becoming a teetotaler and refraining from drinking completely, there are a few precautions that every Wisconsin driver should make if he or she wants to prevent getting hit with this very serious criminal charge.

Here are a few tips from State Farm Insurance, which will prevent you from getting arrested and charged with a DUI:

  • Select a designated driver for the night. This person will be your sober buddy who will make sure you get home safely without needing to drive drunk.
  • Ask someone to give you a ride. If you're too drunk to drive, don't be shy to ask a sober friend to give you a lift. Most people will be happy to oblige.
  • Take keys away from drunk people. If someone is intoxicated at a party, don't be shy to take the person's keys away from him or her. Even though the person might react negatively, think of it this way: You could be saving a friend's life.
  • Offer your guests water, juice, coffee and soda. Never pressure people at your party to drink alcohol.
  • Offer lots of food. This will reduce the intoxicating effects of alcohol.
  • Organize alternate transportation. Offer transportation to all guests at your party to ensure they have a safe way of getting home.

Wisconsin gun laws: Machine gun regulations

Wisconsin residents need to know their gun laws if they want to avoid unintentionally getting into trouble. One area of the law that could be subject to changes from year to year relates to machine guns, which are currently considered illegal in the state. Gun owners should review the following rules and regulations pertaining to machine guns to ensure that they don't get into trouble with state and local law enforcement regarding the firearms they possess and carry.

It is unlawful to transport, possess or sell a machine gun or fully automatic weapon unless these actions are performed in strict alignment with applicable gun laws. The term "machine gun" in this context relates to any firearm that can automatically shoot -- or automatically be rearmed to shoot -- over one shot at a time without the need to manually reload, simply by pulling the trigger of the weapon.

Drunk driving convictions and employment background checks

If you've been accused of drunk driving, you're in danger of having a bad mark on your criminal record. That mark could get in the way of employment opportunities -- particularly ones that involve driving.

Different kinds of criminal background checks expose different types of offenses. Depending on the nature of the check, your prospective employer might discover your drunk driving charge. Although your employer -- be it a federal agency or a Wisconsin business -- cannot discriminate against you based on a drunk driving conviction without a valid reason, this kind of discrimination can happen under the radar.

3 ways a false drunk driving arrest can happen

Not everyone who is accused of drunk driving is guilty. In fact, Wisconsin police frequently make mistakes during traffic stops that lead to an inappropriate arrest. Here are three ways that false DUI arrests might happen:

Police thought you were driving when you were the passenger: Imagine your friend is the designated driver who is diligently taking you home from a party in your own car. However, on the way home, your friend gets into an accident. You both get out of your car to examine the damage, and when police arrive, they don't believe that your friend was driving. Instead, they assume that you were driving while drunk and they arrest you for a DUI.

Federal LSD drug laws and punishments

The psychedelic drug LSD (d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is illegal throughout the United States. Under federal drug laws, LSD is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, meaning that an LSD-related conviction will come with the severest punishments on par with those associated with heroin.

Because the federal government has classified LSD as one of the most dangerous kinds of drugs, a first-time conviction for the least serious LSD possession offense will be punished with a minimum of $1,000 in fines and a maximum of three years in prison.

Could these less common DUI defenses apply to your case?

When a Wisconsin driver gets pulled over and police suspect him or her of drunk driving, it can lead to an arrest and DUI charges. However, it's important to note that these incidents can happen in many different ways -- and sometimes the charges brought against the accused person are in error, or they are unlawful.

When faced with unlawful or wrongful DUI charges, accused motorists may need to defend themselves in court to preserve their legal rights and innocence of the crime. Accused persons will have a host of DUI defense strategies available to them, but depending on the facts pertaining to their cases, only a handful of defense strategies will likely apply.

Theft defenses: What if I returned the stolen property?

Theft is theft, and if a Wisconsin resident gets accused of stealing property, it doesn't matter if he or she returns the property after stealing it. The individual who took the property can still get convicted of a theft-related crime. That said, the voluntary return of the property could result in the court being more sympathetic, and it could result in a lessening of the punishments associated with conviction.

Still, many Wisconsin defendants do not fully understand the law as it applies to stolen items that were voluntarily returned later. Imagine, for example, that someone steals a bicycle out of another person's garage. The victim calls police, who come and investigate the crime scene. The next day, the alleged thief comes back to the house to return the property voluntarily, at which time, police arrest the person.

Interesting points about drunk driving in Wisconsin

Drinking and driving is a serious problem because it is fully preventable if drivers don't get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. With the impacts of this issue in mind, state legislators came up with some very strict penalties for drunk driving.

It is imperative that all drivers take the responsible path and find another way home after drinking. If this doesn't happen, you might find yourself facing criminal charges. Here are some points to know about drunk driving in Wisconsin:

The concealed carry fashion show draws controversy

Milwaukee was the host of the National Rifle Association's "Concealed Carry Fashion Show." The fashion show was intended to show off gun-toting fashion accessories.

The show included regular guys and regular gals as models who donned special gun-friendly clothing, bags and purses to model for the audience.

Avoid drunk driving charges over Labor Day weekend

It's that time of year again: Labor Day weekend. A time when we spend the weekend with family and friends at fun barbeques and parties. Most Wisconsin residents look forward to this fun time to enjoy the last days of summer with the people we love. Wisconsin police also prepare for this time because it's when they increase their drunk driving patrols via the statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative started on Friday, Aug. 18, and will not end until Labor Day, Sept. 4. Here's what the Director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety said about the campaign: "Whether it's caused by alcohol, prescription medications or other drugs, impaired driving is illegal, it's dangerous, and it risks the lives of everyone along our roadways."

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