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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.

While the woman was in an inebriated state, however, her son came home from his work and called 911. After the son made the call, the woman backed out of the driveway in her vehicle and continued into a culvert on the other side of the street. She was able to free the vehicle and drove away. She soon lost control of the car and struck a tree.

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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.

Unfortunately, self-driving cars aren't here yet, so drivers are advised to be exceedingly careful not to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. However, if you do find yourself accused of an OWI offense -- regardless of whether you were OWI or not -- you may be able to improve your situation by planning a strategic OWI defense.

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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.

Just because police arrested you and accused of this crime does not mean you will be found guilty. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself in court. During the course of your criminal defense proceedings, understanding the potential punishments associated with an OWI offense will help you determine the most appropriate strategies to utilize in your legal proceedings.

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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.

A field sobriety test involves police officers taking a driver through a series of tests. Police will ask the diver to perform different tasks and judge the person's ability to successfully complete those tasks. Video footage and evidence gathered during the field sobriety test will then be used against the defendant during his or her criminal proceedings.

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Most people who have had a little bit to drink will err on the side of caution and take an Uber home or ask a friend to give them a ride. What happens if you're somewhere in the middle, and you're not sure if you've had too much to drink? What if you're trying to determine if your friend has had too much to drink before letting him or her drive you home?

Whenever you're not sure of how drunk you or your friends are, it's safest to take an alternate way home and avoid driving altogether. That said, here are a couple methods you might want to use for evaluating the state of someone's intoxication:

 

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