P.O. Box 7  •  215 North Lake Avenue Phillips, WI  54555 Phone:  715-339-2196 Fax:  715-339-4664
P.O. Box 151  •  170 North 4th Avenue Park Falls, WI  54552 Phone:  715-762-3258 Fax:  715-762-3289  
Slaby, Deda, Marshall, Reinhard & Writz LLP
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OWI - Drunk Driving Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) charges should not be taken lightly.  An attorney can help an individual charged with OWI to determine exactly how much alcohol was consumed, whether the stop of the vehicle was based on probable cause, whether the field sobriety tests were correctly administered, etc.   It is very important that an attorney be able to analyze the legality of the arresting procedure.  If the police acted inappropriately, the entire case could be dismissed. With the passage of new legislation in Wisconsin in July of 2010, 4th offense OWI is now a felony.  First offense OWI is a traffic citation, while 2nd and 3rd offenses are misdemeanors. In Wisconsin, drunk driving is technically called Operating Under the Influence (OUI), but it is also commonly referred to as Drunk Driving (DD), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  OWI is a separate charge from driving with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC).  A driver may get an OWI charge and not a PAC charge if, for instance, the person is driving under the influence of a drug instead of alcohol.  PAC is charged if the driver has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than .08.  It is not unusual in a drunk driving case for a driver to be charged with both OWI and PAC. First, to pull over a vehicle, the officer must have some probable cause to believe that the driver violated some driving law.  This is usually not very difficult for the officer to show, as the driver just needs to be swerving slightly, speeding, or even have a tail light out.  Next, the officer will make contact with the driver to determine if there is an OWI issue.  The officer will observe whether the driver’s eyes are red, if the driver has alcohol on their breach, slurred speech, or containers of alcohol in the vehicle.  If the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver has been drinking, he will likely ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests.  If the driver does not do well on these tests, the officer will likely ask the driver to do a preliminary breath test (PBT).  This machine will quickly show the officer about how much alcohol is in the driver’s blood.  Based on the PBT result, the officer may decide to arrest the driver and get a reading of the driver’s blood, breath, or urine to get a more accurate blood alcohol reading.  The PBT result is not admissible as evidence in court.  Remember that most of the time the entire traffic stop is video recorded from start to finish. If a person refuses to give an officer a sample of their blood, breath, or urine, the driver will be charged with a separate offense of Refusal.  Refusal is not a crime; it is a traffic citation.  However, the penalties for refusal are still great, and can result in a longer license revocation than if the person submitted to the blood alcohol test that showed they had an illegal alcohol content.  Usually when a person refuses to submit to a test to determine their BAC, the police will force the person to comply; therefore, the driver will be charged with OWI, PAC, and a refusal. A person who knows they will be charged with an OWI/PAC should contact an attorney as soon as possible.  An attorney who acts fast may be able to take steps to help a driver keep their license while their case is pending.  Otherwise, the Department of Motor Vehicles may administratively suspend a driver’s license while the case is pending. Sentencing in OWIs depends on the county the driver was stopped in, the number of previous OWIs the driver has had, and the driver’s BAC.  Sentencing may also increase if children were in the car, an injury resulted from the driving, or the individual was driving a commercial vehicle.  Sentencing may involve any combination of jail time, license suspension, fine, ignition interlock requirement, alcohol and drug counseling, probation, or community service.  If a driver’s license is suspended, the driver can sometimes obtain an occupational license.  There may or may not be a waiting period for an occupational license, depending on how many OWI offenses there have been and prior revocations of driver’s license.  If a driver is sentenced to jail, which is mandatory on 2nd offense OWI and all additional OWI offenses, the length of the sentence is frequently negotiable.  It is also possible in some cases to postpone the start of a jail sentence.  Even if a person ends up convicted of OWI, an attorney can provide assistance in reducing the length of incarceration and the length of the driver’s license suspension and can help delay when penalties occur if that is beneficial. Remember that an OWI conviction is going to significantly increase the cost of auto insurance. The cost for an attorney to represent you on an OWI/DUI charge depends on each specific case.  Call 1-800-543-6440 for a consultation.
P.O. Box 7  •  215 North Lake Avenue Phillips, WI  54555 Phone:  715-339-2196 Fax:  715-339-4664
P.O. Box 151  •  170 North 4th Avenue Park Falls, WI  54552 Phone:  715-762-3258 Fax:  715-762-3289  
Slaby, Deda, Marshall, Reinhard & Writz LLP
TOLL FREE:  1-800-543-6440
OWI - Drunk Driving Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) charges should not be taken lightly.  An attorney can help an individual charged with OWI to determine exactly how much alcohol was consumed, whether the stop of the vehicle was based on probable cause, whether the field sobriety tests were correctly administered, etc.   It is very important that an attorney be able to analyze the legality of the arresting procedure.  If the police acted inappropriately, the entire case could be dismissed. With the passage of new legislation in Wisconsin in July of 2010, 4th offense OWI is now a felony.  First offense OWI is a traffic citation, while 2nd and 3rd offenses are misdemeanors. In Wisconsin, drunk driving is technically called Operating Under the Influence (OUI), but it is also commonly referred to as Drunk Driving (DD), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  OWI is a separate charge from driving with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC).  A driver may get an OWI charge and not a PAC charge if, for instance, the person is driving under the influence of a drug instead of alcohol.  PAC is charged if the driver has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than .08.  It is not unusual in a drunk driving case for a driver to be charged with both OWI and PAC. First, to pull over a vehicle, the officer must have some probable cause to believe that the driver violated some driving law.  This is usually not very difficult for the officer to show, as the driver just needs to be swerving slightly, speeding, or even have a tail light out.  Next, the officer will make contact with the driver to determine if there is an OWI issue.  The officer will observe whether the driver’s eyes are red, if the driver has alcohol on their breach, slurred speech, or containers of alcohol in the vehicle.  If the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver has been drinking, he will likely ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests.  If the driver does not do well on these tests, the officer will likely ask the driver to do a preliminary breath test (PBT).  This machine will quickly show the officer about how much alcohol is in the driver’s blood.  Based on the PBT result, the officer may decide to arrest the driver and get a reading of the driver’s blood, breath, or urine to get a more accurate blood alcohol reading.  The PBT result is not admissible as evidence in court.  Remember that most of the time the entire traffic stop is video recorded from start to finish. If a person refuses to give an officer a sample of their blood, breath, or urine, the driver will be charged with a separate offense of Refusal.  Refusal is not a crime; it is a traffic citation.  However, the penalties for refusal are still great, and can result in a longer license revocation than if the person submitted to the blood alcohol test that showed they had an illegal alcohol content.  Usually when a person refuses to submit to a test to determine their BAC, the police will force the person to comply; therefore, the driver will be charged with OWI, PAC, and a refusal. A person who knows they will be charged with an OWI/PAC should contact an attorney as soon as possible.  An attorney who acts fast may be able to take steps to help a driver keep their license while their case is pending.  Otherwise, the Department of Motor Vehicles may administratively suspend a driver’s license while the case is pending. Sentencing in OWIs depends on the county the driver was stopped in, the number of previous OWIs the driver has had, and the driver’s BAC.  Sentencing may also increase if children were in the car, an injury resulted from the driving, or the individual was driving a commercial vehicle.  Sentencing may involve any combination of jail time, license suspension, fine, ignition interlock requirement, alcohol and drug counseling, probation, or community service.  If a driver’s license is suspended, the driver can sometimes obtain an occupational license.  There may or may not be a waiting period for an occupational license, depending on how many OWI offenses there have been and prior revocations of driver’s license.  If a driver is sentenced to jail, which is mandatory on 2nd offense OWI and all additional OWI offenses, the length of the sentence is frequently negotiable.  It is also possible in some cases to postpone the start of a jail sentence.  Even if a person ends up convicted of OWI, an attorney can provide assistance in reducing the length of incarceration and the length of the driver’s license suspension and can help delay when penalties occur if that is beneficial. Remember that an OWI conviction is going to significantly increase the cost of auto insurance. The cost for an attorney to represent you on an OWI/DUI charge depends on each specific case.  Call 1- 800-543-6440 for a consultation.
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 TOLL FREE:  1-800-543-6440 
 TOLL FREE:  1-800-543-6440