In Wisconsin's Waukesha County, a drunk driving charge is formally referred to as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). There are various ways to be charged with an OWI offense, including driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher; driving under the influence of an illegal drug or other controlled substance; driving with a noticeable measure of restricted or controlled substance in the blood; or driving under the influence of any intoxicant such as alcohol, prescription or over the counter medication, or an illegal or controlled drug.
When pulled over by the police, most people's first inclination is to volunteer information. Although it is generally not wise to refuse to speak with an officer asking routine questions, it would be wise to avoid embellishing or providing extra information. This is because the probability of incriminating yourself or providing more facts that support your guilt increases the more you speak. Rather, you should be polite, calm, and cooperative with the police.
Possessing a driver's license in the state of Wisconsin implies consent to providing a chemical sample via breathalyzer. Refusing to consent to this will expose you to a number of unpleasant consequences such as having your license suspended for up to one year. However, you can challenge whether or not an officer had probable cause for such a stop through an administrative hearing from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. You can also challenge an OWI charge by using the Fourth Amendment, which provides the American people many essential guarantees of privacy. Penalties of a drunk driving conviction can be quite severe, especially for offenders with multiple charges.
Consequences of a drunk driving charge charge in Wisconsin can include a fine of up to 300 dollars; suspension of a driver's license, getting your vehicle fitted with an ignition interlock device, or even jail time depending on the severity of the charge. The judge will issue a sentence after considering a number of facts, such as:
- The number of prior OWIs the defendant has been charged with
- The defendant's BAC level
- Whether or not the defendant caused an accident in the course of OWI
When faced with such a charge, it is imperative to contact an experienced OWI attorney in Waukesha Wisconsin for further legal advice.