Being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence can be a very overwhelming experience. Drivers may be faced with aggressive law enforcement tactics, including demands to consent to field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests. If you were recently pulled over because of a suspected DUI or have been charged with this offense, Reddin & Singer can help you evaluate what happened and advise you on your options. As a widely recognized and experienced criminal defense lawyer, William J. Reddin has been advocating for the rights of Milwaukee drivers for over 30 years.Understanding Your Options under Wisconsin OWI Laws
In Wisconsin, a DUI is referred to as an OWI, which stands for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Although the terminology is different, the crime is the same: getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In order to be charged with an OWI, a driver must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. However, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, this limit is lowered to .04 percent. Wisconsin laws are even stricter for drivers under the age of 21. They are required to have “absolute sobriety,” and the law imposes a zero tolerance policy. This means that a younger driver can be charged with an OWI if any amount of alcohol is in his or her system when stopped by the police.
If law enforcement pulls you over for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test or to submit to a Breathalyzer test in order to determine your BAC. Under Wisconsin law, all licensed drivers in the state implicitly consent to a Breathalyzer exam, or a similar form of chemical test, when they apply for a license. For this reason, if you refuse to complete the test, your license can be suspended for one year or more.
If a driver’s BAC is determined to be over the legal limit, he or she will be charged with an OWI. The penalties for this charge depend on several factors, including the level of the driver’s BAC and whether he or she has previously been arrested for a drunk driving offense. Typically, the first conviction will not result in jail time, but fines will be imposed and a driver will have his or her license suspended. For repeat offenses, an individual can be sentenced to jail time of up to six years and may be required to put an ignition interlock device (IID) on his or her vehicle, which is a small Breathalyzer that prevents the car from starting if the driver is intoxicated.Fight Your DUI Prosecution with a Milwaukee Lawyer
At Reddin & Singer, we understand that your freedom and livelihood may be at stake if you face OWI charges. Our misdemeanor attorney, William J. Reddin, is dedicated to protecting your rights as a Milwaukee driver. He can investigate the methods and tests used to determine whether you were driving while intoxicated and will review whether all law enforcement procedures were properly followed during your OWI stop. We serve individuals throughout the state of Wisconsin. Our team is available any time to speak with you at (414) 271-6400, or you can reach us online today.