Drunk-driving, as readers know, is differently regulated by the states such that the consequences of DUI charges vary depending on where the case occurs. While every state, it seems, holds reduction of drunk-driving as an important goal in principle, some states focus more on criminal penalties in battling the problem than others.
States can focus their efforts in a number of areas in the fight against drunken driving, though, not just with respect to criminal penalties. A recent analysis by Wallet Hub actually ranked the states according to their overall strictness when it comes to addressing the problem of drunken driving. The survey looked at a number of parameters in making the evaluations, including those relating criminal penalties and prevention efforts.
Among the criminal penalties evaluated were: minimum jail times and fines for a first and second conviction; when a DUI charge becomes a felony; the length of time a DUI may factor into penalties for a new DUI; whether additional penalties are imposed for a higher blood alcohol concentration; and whether states impose penalties for child endangerment. Also considered were: ignition interlock requirements; administrative license suspension; whether vehicles are impounded after a DUI arrest; whether sobriety checkpoints and “no-refusal” initiatives are used, and whether alcohol abuse assessments or treatment are mandatory.
Wisconsin landed somewhere in the middle of the pack, but closer to the more lenient states in terms of DUI strictness. Overall, Wisconsin ranked number 37, tying with Indiana and Rhode Island in that place. In our next post, we’ll look at the findings of the study with respect to the state of Wisconsin, as well as why it is important for those charged with DUI to work with an experienced advocate throughout the criminal process.