Everyone enjoys a cold beer or stiff cocktail now and then. It’s a great way to blow off steam after a long work week, reconnect with old friends and keep the cheers going at a Badger’s game. While there’s nothing wrong with having a drink, deciding to drive afterword will almost certainly land you in jail.
Wisconsin is cracking down on drunk driving this summer by modifying OWI punishments. Per a new law, if you are convicted of four or more drunk driving related offenses, you will lose your driver’s license permanently. If your license is lost and you are caught driving, you will face a heavy fine and be incarcerated for up to a full year.
New laws on drunk driving
According to Fox6 Now, Governor Scott Walker signed senate bill SB135 into law Wednesday, March 28. This bill formally states that upon a driver’s fourth alcohol related conviction, they will lose their driving privileges permanently.
Senator Van Wanggaard, an author of the bill, said, “In just the last couple of weeks we’ve seen several 4-time drunk drivers in our area. It’s ridiculous and it’s got to stop.” Senator Wanggaard continued by saying, “Thanks to 4-strikes-and-you’re-out, these offenders will either learn the lesson or lose their license forever. And if they drive while revoked, they will face up to an additional year in jail.”
This law is not retroactive, so if you have 4 OWI convictions to your name, you may keep your license. If you have three or more, however, the next OWI conviction you receive will mean license revocation. The final conviction must also be within 15 years of your last conviction.
If you didn’t already have a good enough reason to not get behind the wheel after drinking, this new law will hopefully light a fire under you to keep away. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, be sure to call a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There are ways to fight OWI charges, and an attorney will know how.
Being arrested is a frightening experience, especially if it’s for an OWI. Evidence often seems bad in the moment, but there are ways you can fight the charges and keep the OWI off your record. This is where skilled legal counsel is invaluable.
Every situation is different, but based on the circumstances of how you were pulled over, your interaction with the police officer, the grounds of your arrest and several other factors, your attorney can fight for you to retain your freedom.
Don’t give up too soon if you’re arrested on an alcohol related offense. Having someone in your corner that will fight for you in the court room makes a huge difference. It could be the difference between continuing to drive to work and taking the bus.