Anyone who has been charged with drunk driving in Wisconsin will probably become immediately aware of the potential consequences if a conviction occurs. Those consequences, for first-time offenders, will usually include a term of probation supervision, fines and probably a requirement to attend substance abuse counseling. For those who have multiple convictions for drunk driving, the potential penalties become even more significant, potentially even including serious jail time.
No motorist in Wisconsin wants to be pulled over by the police. It can be a very stressful situation, especially if the officer accuses the motorist of drunk driving and requests that the motorist undergo a breath test. People in such situations may wonder if they can refuse to submit to a breath test if asked to by an officer. They can, but breath test refusal has consequences.
Whether the allegations you or a loved one face for OWI are days apart or decades apart, being accused of OWI more than once changes the process. This is because, if your OWI is tried, a second-time offender is viewed differently for lots of crime allegations, including OWI. Factors related the first OWI offense and the circumstances surrounding the second could have a big impact as well.
Our state is known for having a different way of doing things, legislatively, than nearby states, like Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. One of those things is the way that the first time offense of OWI is categorized and handled. If charged with OWI for the first time, it might not be prosecuted as a crime.
Everybody knows about drunk driving and intoxicated driving. This includes the potential impacts it can have and the fact that it's illegal. However, many charged with OWI didn't realize they were over the legal limit, or that their actions would be considered breaking the law. However, ignorance is not a valid defense to OWI.