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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney OWI with injury or death

One of the leading causes of death in the nation continues to be motor vehicle accidents. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 36,500 people who died in traffic accidents in the United States in 2018. Of those individuals, more than 10,500, or 29 percent, were killed because of an alcohol-related traffic accident. In Wisconsin, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. However, if the injury or death of another person were to result from an OWI charge, you could face even more serious penalties.

Punishments for Injury or Death With OWI

Wisconsin is the last state to punish first-time OWI offenders with a criminal charge, rather than simply a moving violation. Currently, a first-time OWI in Wisconsin can land you a fine of $150 to $300 and a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation. However, if you cause bodily harm or injury to another person while you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated, even during a first-time offense, you could face $300 to $2,000 in fines, up to one year in prison, and up to a two-year driver’s license revocation. If you have had prior OWI convictions and/or chemical test refusals, you will face stricter penalties. This can be charged as a Class H felony, which carries a possible six-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.

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Muskego OWI defense attorney

Most states have laws that make it illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. In Wisconsin, these laws are referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI). These laws tend to be broadly defined, and they apply to a number of drunk driving behaviors. In Wisconsin, you can be charged with OWI if you have a BAC of 0.08 percent or more; are intoxicated and unable to safely drive; or have any detectable amount of a controlled substance in your body. If a person is under the age of 21 when he or she is convicted of OWI, he or she can face an additional set of criminal consequences in conjunction with regular OWI penalties. That is why it is essential to seek professional legal counsel to make sure your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” Law

As in most other states, drivers are not permitted to have a BAC of more than 0.08 percent when operating a motor vehicle. In Wisconsin, drivers who are under the age of 21 are not permitted to have any alcohol whatsoever in their systems. This means the legal limit for those under 21 is 0.00, whereas it is 0.08 for everyone else. If you are under 21 and you are caught driving with a BAC higher than zero, you face a $200 fine, four demerit points on your driver’s license, and a driver’s license suspension of three months. These penalties are concurrent and separate from any other penalties you may be facing for OWI.

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Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorney

Since the 1980s, both state and federal agencies have attempted to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents that occur. For the most part, this has succeeded. In Wisconsin, there were nearly 30,000 alcohol-related traffic crashes in 1980. By the time 2015 rolled around, there were only 5,174 alcohol-related traffic crashes recorded in Wisconsin. Even though the number of drunk driving accidents decreased immensely, they still remain a significant safety issue. Wisconsin OWI laws are taken seriously and are often enacted to their full extent. That is why if you or someone you know is charged with OWI, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected. 

Implied Consent Laws in Wisconsin

Nearly every state in the United States has an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to chemical testing if they are suspected to be driving while intoxicated. Wisconsin is no exception. If you are driving a vehicle in Wisconsin, you are deemed to have given your consent to submit to “one or more tests of blood, breath, or urine.” These tests are used to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, and they are typically performed after a person has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

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Posted on in OWI

New Berlin OWI defense attorney

One of the most common crimes committed with a vehicle is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Wisconsin, this is referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI). Some of the most deadly and serious car accidents occur because of people driving when they are drunk or high on drugs. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were nearly 30,000 OWI arrests that took place in 2015, with more than 5,000 alcohol-related car crashes. In the past few decades, more emphasis has been placed on preventing drunk driving, with one strategy being to increase the consequences for committing an OWI. In Wisconsin, penalties for OWI can range from a simple fine to jail time or felony charges, depending on the situation.

First-Offense OWI

In Wisconsin, a first-time OWI offense is not technically considered a criminal charge. Rather, it is classified as a petty offense that results in a fine and a driver’s license suspension. If you are caught driving while under the influence for the first time, you will be subject to a fine between $150 and $300, a $435 OWI surcharge, and a six- to nine-month driver’s license suspension. However, you can apply to get an occupational license immediately. An occupational license allows you to drive to certain places, such as work, school, church, or the grocery store. 

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