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Waukesha Criminal Law Blog

Muskego mother gets 2-year prison sentence for drunk driving

A woman from Muskego who has been convicted of drunk driving five times was recently sentenced to serve a two-year prison term as a result of her fifth drunk driving conviction. The woman was also sentenced to extended supervision for an additional three years.

The incident that led to the woman's most recent OWI conviction happened last Christmas Eve. According to the woman's admission, she drank a "ton" of alcohol that evening because she felt like she wanted to die.

Would self-driving cars solve the prevalence of drunk driving?

It's only natural for people to go out to bars, restaurants and parties and needing to get home when the night is done. However, if they've been consuming alcohol, they might be too drunk to drive and not even realize it. Taking to the roads while drunk is unlawful, dangerous and sometimes difficult for drivers to avoid when they're not thinking clearly.

Self-driving cars, however, would eliminate the human element that's to blame for this behavior. The other benefit of self-driving cars is the fact that they would reduce the need for police to go out patrolling for operating while intoxicated (OWI) drivers, and they would eliminate the many harsh consequences of a drunk driving conviction, which include:

  • Losing your license and needing to pay large fines.
  • The risk of imprisonment and jail time.
  • The risk of being charged with negligent homicide or OWI causing injury.
  • The loss of one's license for a year and having one's vehicle impounded for refusing to take a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) Breathalyzer test.
  • The mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system after a first-offense OWI conviction for OWI with a BAC of at least .15 percent, or for a subsequent OWI offense.
  • Having penalties doubled if police catch the driver intoxicated with a minor aged 15 or under in the car.
  • The risk of multiplied penalties if two previous OWI convictions are on the record and the BAC was over .17 percent for the most recent offense.

38-year-old man arrested in Belvidere drug bust

Police in Belvidere say that they arrested an accused a man of drug crimes in a recent narcotics bust. Authorities say that they made a routine traffic stop at the Belvidere Oasis last Sunday, and it later led to the arrest.

The police officer who pulled the man over happened to be a Boone County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit. Shortly after conducting the traffic stop, the sheriff's deputy called for backup from Belvidere/Boone County Metro Narcotics officers. The narcotics officers arrived and assisted with a search and seizure operation.

Can you get a DUI if you're not moving?

You have a few drinks at the bar and decide to drive home. On the way there, you notice that your car is running out of gas. You pull into a gas station, fill up and then head into the station to pay.

When you come out, a police officer has stopped at the pump next to yours. You feel nervous, so you go back into the building. Then you realize that looks suspicious, so you go back out and head to your car. The officer says hello to you, and you try to casually say hello back, but you stumble over your words.

Were you accused of vandalism?

Although you might not think that you're hurting someone's property by spray-painting your initials or a picture on the side of it, the owner of the property could feel differently about it. In fact, the owner – and the police for that matter – might see such an act as vandalism. Vandalism – i.e., the destruction, defacing or harming of someone else's property – is illegal and those who are found guilty of the offense will face various criminal punishments.

If you're not sure what constitutes vandalism under the law, here are a few examples of the crime:

  1. Intentionally throwing a rock into a neighbor's window and breaking it
  2. Spray-painting the side of a building with your initials or spray-painting your favorite design on a street sign
  3. Ripping the picture off a billboard
  4. Drawing a mustache and glasses on a poster next to a bus stop
  5. Using a permanent marker to draw on a bathroom stall
  6. Painting graffiti on a sidewalk

What happens during a field sobriety test?

When it comes to drunk driving arrests, most Wisconsin residents know about Breathalyzer tests and the fact that a test result that renders a .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) will usually result in an immediate arrest. However, Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate, and they can often get thrown out in court so they can't be used as evidence against the victim.

As such, a police officer will try to gather more evidence against a defendant by taking notes about his or her appearance and behavior, and by subjecting the defendant to a field sobriety test.

First-offense penalties for operating while intoxicated

An operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense in Wisconsin could mean serious consequences in the event of a conviction. If it's a first offense, the punishments will be less severe than subsequent offenses.

Here is what you can expect if you're convicted:

  • You will be required to pay substantial court costs in addition to a $150 to $300 fine.
  • In the vast majority of cases, you do not have to fear a jail sentence. However, if you were carrying a passenger under the age of 16, you could be sentenced to as many as six months in jail. Jail or prison time could also result if you hurt someone.
  • The revocation of your driving license for six to nine months.
  • In cases where your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at least .15 percent or more, you'll need to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
  • You'll have to submit to an alcohol assessment.
  • You could receive as many as six points on your license.
  • There will be other noncriminal consequences, such as the potential loss of your job (depending on what you do for work) and a sharp increase in your auto insurance premiums.

Where do common drugs fall under the federal drug schedules?

The federal government classifies controlled substances into five different schedules with Schedule I having the most severe criminal consequences attached to them and Schedule V having the least severe consequences. Familiarizing yourself with the following drug schedules is important if you've been accused of a drug crime or if you want to avoid getting in trouble with the law for a drug crime.

Schedule V: This category of drugs includes those that the federal government believes are the least dangerous in terms of their propensity for abuse, addiction and potentially damaging effects. They include: Parepectolin, Lyrica, Lomotil and Motofen.

Accused of shoplifting? Things to remember

Would you know what to do if you're accused of shoplifting? Would you run and hope that you get away? Would you stay where you are, explain yourself and pray that everything works out?

Although shoplifting is not the most serious crime, it can still lead to a serious punishment. This is particularly true in the event that you are convicted of shoplifting an expensive item, such as jewelry.

A routine traffic stop in Waukesha nets 2 drug arrests

A Wednesday, May 2 traffic stop of a vehicle that was apparently displaying an illegible rear license plate resulted in both the driver and his passenger's arrest. The routine traffic stop was conducted by an officer with the Waukesha Police Department shortly after 4 p.m. at the intersection of E. St. Paul Ave. and Maria St.

An incident report in the matter reflects that officer conducting the stop noticed that the temporary license plate that the car was displaying was illegible as he passed through an area he was patrolling. The driver apparently pulled over when requested to do so by the officer, but reportedly produced an invalid driver's license when he was asked to provide one.

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