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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney OWI

With temperatures dropping and snow beginning to fall, people across the country are getting their families and homes ready for the upcoming winter holidays. For many people, celebrating holidays often means going to social events where alcohol is present, but this can spell trouble for some. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and can even cause harm or death to others if you do not drink responsibly. This is why the state of Wisconsin, as well as all of the other 49 states,  have laws against consuming alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The holiday season is the most stressful time of year to be dealing with a drunk driving charge, so it is important that you avoid an arrest and criminal charge if you have been pulled over for OWI. 

Tips to Avoid an OWI Conviction in Wisconsin

Many people travel by car to visit family and friends over the Christmas holiday season and combined with increased alcohol use, this can (and has been shown to) produce a deadly situation. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), only about 29 percent of all traffic deaths typically involve alcohol, but during the Christmas Day period, approximately 37 percent of all traffic deaths can be attributed to alcohol involvement. When a death is involved in an OWI charge, consequences can become extremely serious, so avoiding an arrest is the best strategy to use. Here are a few tips if you are faced with this type of situation: 

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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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