According to the latest available figures from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT),more than 33,500 Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) arrests were madein Wisconsin during 2012. As of December 31st, 2012 more than 413,754 Wisconsin drivers had at least one OWI on their criminal record. Another 192,841 drivers had between two and five OWI convictions. There were 5,582 drivers who had between six and 10 OWI convictions and another 70 who had been convicted between 11-15 times for OWI. Two drivers were on record for having 16 OWI convictions each.
In a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in April 2009, Wisconsin was on record for having the highest rate of drunk driving nationwide. This is not entirely surprising considering Wisconsin is the only state where a first-time OWI is a civil offense, not a criminal one.
Neither law enforcement nor the prosecution in the state of Wisconsin are lenient with individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Due to the risk involved, those arrested and charged with OWI in Wisconsin could easily find themselves facing harsh penalties such as:
Additional OWI offense will lead to increased charges and penalties. For example, a fourth OWI conviction with a prior conviction within the past five years is a Class H felony offense. This type of crime is punishable by up to six years in prison, fines up to $10,000, the revocation of driving privileges for at least two years and more. Insurance companies will generally increase premiums for those individuals who have an OWI conviction.
Being placed under arrest for a suspected OWI can be a very frightening experience, and can have long-term consequences on your future. The best way to avoiding an OWI conviction is to not get behind the wheel of your vehicle after you have been consuming alcohol or taking any type of drug, prescription or otherwise. But if you find yourself pulled over for alleged driving under the influence, remember these key points.
Each of these things could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. One of the most important steps you can take following an OWI arrest is to hire an attorney to represent your case. There is no reason you need to fight OWI charges on your own.
Criminal defense attorney Patrick Cafferty can provide you with the aggressive representation you require. To find out what our firm can do for you, call us now to schedule a free consultation.