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By Jason Luczak & Brianna Meyer

Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorneyMilwaukee drunk driving defense attorney

The Wisconsin Assembly passed two bills this summer which, if approved by the state Senate, would impose stiffer penalties on individuals convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The first bill would establish a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least five years for drivers convicted of an OWI that resulted in a fatality.  A driver facing such a charge under current law faces a considerable prison sentence, although a sentencing court has the discretion to impose jail time, probation or combination of the two. The new bill passed by the Assembly would take away all discretion and individual consideration of each defendant and lump them all together regardless of blood alcohol level, treatment needs and efforts, etc. The second bill would make it obligatory for drivers facing OWI charges, including all first-time offenders, to appear in court. Because a first-time OWI is currently not a criminal offense, the civil rules of procedure allowing an appearance by legal counsel for some court proceedings can occur. 

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Milwaukee WI drunk driving defense attorney

By Attorney Brianna Meyer

As is true in all 50 states, driving drunk is illegal and has severe consequences. Not only do drivers put themselves at risk, but they can also endanger the passengers in their car, pedestrians, and people in other vehicles. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for a driver who is at least 21 years old to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater. Drivers are also prohibited from driving while under the influence of intoxicants, with any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their bloodstream, and/or while they are under the influence of controlled substances or other drugs. Those below the age of 21 must have complete sobriety when driving or operating a vehicle.

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"Milwaukee

By Attorney Brianna Meyer

In Wisconsin, refusing a breathalyzer test after being arrested for suspected drunk driving can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. However, what many people do not know is that a roadside blood alcohol content (BAC) test is voluntary. Due to the danger of license suspension, many people submit to a breathalyzer test and live with the results that come from it. However, breathalyzer tests are not always 100 percent accurate, and there are ways to challenge the results in Wisconsin courts.

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Milwaukee, WI Professional License Defense AttorneysBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

Being arrested for operating while intoxicated is scary. The first thing most people worry about is how the arrest and subsequent conviction will affect their driver’s license and their ability to drive. They hire an attorney who is experienced with OWI cases. But, if you are a healthcare professional in Wisconsin, you also need an attorney who is experienced with professional licensing defense.

Depending on your professional license, you may or may not need to report your OWI conviction to the licensing board that granted you your license. If you are renewing your license while the case is pending, meaning after your arrest but before the case is resolved, you will most likely need to report the arrest on your renewal application.

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Wisconsin drunk driving charges defense lawyerDuring the holiday season, you will likely have many occasions to celebrate with friends and family. When you drink alcohol at these parties, it is best to avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. You should do everything you can to ensure that you are not one of the many who will be arrested for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated, the official charge for drunk driving in Wisconsin) during the holidays.

Alcohol Consumption by Holiday

According to Alcohol.org, the average number of drinks consumed on Thanksgiving is 2.7. The average number of drinks consumed on other “winter holidays” is 3.1. New Year’s Eve is one of the booziest holidays for Americans, as the average number of drinks consumed on that day is 4.4. 

Tips to Avoid Driving Drunk

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the organizations that make up the National Institutes of Health, offers the following tips:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_OWI-Milwaukee_20180803-181514_1.jpgby Attorney Steven McGaver and Law Clerk Nick Nelson 

Operating while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances is a serious offense that can greatly affect a person’s ability to drive, reputation, criminal record, insurance rates, finances, or even career. Offenses commonly known as “drunk driving” are known as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, and drivers should be sure to understand the consequences they may face if they are arrested for OWI.

OWI Penalties

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Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers, OWI, buzzed driving, drunk driving, DUI defenseDrunk driving is a serious threat to the safety of everyone who uses the road. Across the United States, there are an average of more than 10,000 fatalities every year in car crashes involving a driver who is under the influence of alcohol.

The penalties for driving while under the influence are severe, and an arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI) can result in substantial fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol addiction assessment and counseling, and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device (IID) in one’s vehicle.

Even though the potential consequences of drunk driving are well-known, many people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking, believing that if they have had just one or two drinks, they will be able to drive safely. However, this type of activity, known as “buzzed driving,” is incredibly dangerous. Moreover, even if a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit of .08 percent, he or she is still putting himself or herself and others at risk.

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ridesharing, drunk-driving, milwaukee criminal defense lawyersA recent study has found no significant reduction in drunk driving fatalities due to the rollout of the ridesharing app Uber. This comes as a surprise to many as Uber has been viewed as an option to traditional taxis and public transportation and often gives rides to those who have been drinking. The ridesharing company began offering services in Milwaukee in 2014, and it has become a popular way for many to get around town safely.

Explaining the Study

Researchers explained the counterintuitive results by pointing to several factors: 

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Wisconsin accident attorney, Wisconsin injury lawyerMotorcycle riders know the look – the one that passenger car drivers give them. That shake of the head as your engine revs next to them, catching them off guard. They assume that, because you ride, you are somehow reckless, or that you are bound to experience an accident, simply because you do not drive a “sensible” vehicle. Mostly, they are wrong. However, they do have one thing right: you are more likely to experience a traffic accident. Sadly, that crash will most likely be caused by another driver.

Motorcycle Riders More Likely to Experience a Crash

Ride long enough and you could probably tell a dozen or so stories about the near-misses. Incidents where another driver did not see you coming and you had to lay your bike down, slam on your brakes, or maybe even skidded out of control. If you were lucky, these were minor occurrences that did not lead to injuries beyond a few scrapes and bruises. However, there are many who are not quite as lucky.

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Wisconsin drunk driving attorney, Wisconsin defense lawyerGetting caught behind the wheel while intoxicated can have serious consequences in the state of Wisconsin. It can affect your ability to drive, result in jail time, and even have an impact on your employment opportunities if listed on your criminal record. Furthermore, the process of dealing with a DUI (driving under the influence) or OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) can be frustrating, expensive, and highly arduous. If you are facing OWI or DUI charges in Wisconsin, know how to protect your rights and your future against the potential long-term consequences.

Wisconsin Legal Limits

In the state of Wisconsin, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) permissible by law is 0.08. Anything above that and you can be arrested and charged with a DUI or OWI (often used interchangeably). The only exceptions are for commercial drivers, who can face charges for a BAC for a limit of 0.04 or higher, and drivers under the age of 21, who can be arrested for any trace of alcohol in their system.

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