As the years go on, laws regarding drunk driving are increasingly becoming stricter, as well as the penalties that follow. In 2003, Wisconsin lowered the legal blood alcohol content to 0.08% for someone over 21. A DUI means driving under the influence, while OWI means the person was operating while intoxicated. In Wisconsin, an OWI is considered the same as a DWI. You don’t need to be driving, as long as you were the one operating the engine and other controls, you can be charged.
We’ll go over five things you need to know about DUI’s and OWI’s.
You do not have to be driving a car or a truck to be charged with a DUI, you could be operating an ATV, golf cart, or bicycles. It is still possible to get a DUI if you are pulled over for another reason, as long as your BAC level is at least 0.08% or greater.
The first will be the DUI/OWI charge, and the second is a PAC charge. PAC means you were operating a vehicle with a “prohibited alcohol content” in your blood. As mentioned previously, in Wisconsin this level is 0.08% if you are 21 and older, 0.04% if operating a commercial vehicle, and 0.02% if you are under the legal drinking age.
DUIs and OWIs can be charged if you are operating a vehicle after consuming legal or illegal drugs. These can be illicit, prescription, or over the counter drugs.
Besides fines and jail time, you could have your license suspended or have an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed. You also could lose your car, either temporarily or permanently. Of course, these depend on whether it is your first offense or if you’ve had multiple.
Once your conviction is official, the charge will stay on your record for 10 years. These charges can be counted against you if you get repeat charges, as long as they are within the ten year time span. They will increase penalties of repeat offenses, increase insurance rates, and are also visible to employers.
These charges are serious, and it is important to acquire an attorney whether you are guilty or innocent. At Hart Law Office, we are very experienced and can assist in DUI and OWI cases. Contact us with any questions.
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