Wausau, WI Experienced DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, such as operating while intoxicated (OWI) or prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) in North Central Wisconsin, our attorneys will fight vigorously to defend your legal rights.
For many people, a drunk driving arrest is their first introduction to the Wisconsin justice system. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) – which is referred to as “operating while intoxicated” (OWI) in Wisconsin – you will quickly learn that the cards are stacked against you.
A conviction for OWI (or the companion charge known as prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC)) can have serious and long-term consequences. From losing your license to paying much more for car insurance and even facing challenges getting into school or finding a job, there are numerous issues that alleged DUI offenders need to be worried about beyond fines and jail time. At Crooks, Low & Connell, S.C., we have represented numerous clients in OWI and PAC cases in Marathon County and throughout North Central Wisconsin. We can help you protect your rights.
OWI and PAC?
While most states use the terminology of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI), in Wisconsin we have two drunk driving-related crimes known as operating while intoxicated (OWI) and prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC). OWI involves driving a vehicle while drunk, high, or under the influence of any other intoxicating drug. While most OWI charges involve elevated levels of blood alcohol content (BAC), it is possible to be arrested and charged with OWI, even if your BAC is not above the legal limit.
However, if your BAC is above the legal limit (0.08 for non-commercial drivers), then you will likely face charges for both OWI and PAC.
Fines, Jail Time, and Loss of License for Drunk Driving in Wisconsin
For both OWI and PAC offenses, the potential fines, jail time, and length of license revocation vary depending on how many prior convictions you have on your record. However, note that these license revocation periods are in addition to the automatic administrative license suspension when you get arrested for drunk driving.
Administrative License Suspension
If you do not file a hearing request within ten days of your arrest, you will automatically lose your license for six months. This suspension starts before trial – meaning that you can lose your license even if you are never convicted of OWI or PAC. But, just like there are numerous defenses to OWI and PAC charges, there are many defenses that we can raise at your administrative suspension hearing to protect your license as well. If you contact us as soon as possible, we can help you fight to avoid the automatic suspension of your license.
Penalties if You Are Convicted of OWI or PAC
If you are convicted of OWI or PAC, you could face the following penalties:
- First offense – $150 to $300 fine and a six to nine-month license revocation
- Second offense – $350 to $1,100 fine, five days to six months in jail, and a 12 to 18-month license revocation
- Third offense – $600 to $2,000 fine, 45 days to one year in jail, and a two to three-year license revocation
The penalties for additional drunk driving convictions continue to increase in severity. Fifth and subsequent OWI offenses are felonies that carry the potential for years behind bars. In addition, all individuals who are convicted of OWI or PAC are generally required to undergo an alcohol assessment, and may be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles as well.
Implied Consent, Probable Cause, Occupational Licenses, and More
Beyond the penalties for OWI and PAC, there are numerous other factors that you need to take into consideration after a drunk driving arrest. Wisconsin’s DUI laws are complicated, and in many cases, individuals end up losing their licenses and facing harsh sentences simply because they don’t know how to protect their legal rights. From understanding Wisconsin’s implied consent law to knowing how to undermine an unlawful traffic stop or arrest, without sound legal advice, you are at a distinct disadvantage. When you hire us, our defense lawyers will do everything possible to protect your ability to drive and help you avoid the consequences of a conviction.
Discuss Your Wisconsin Drunk Driving Case in Confidence
If you have been charged with OWI or PAC in North Central Wisconsin, we urge you to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney right away will give you the best chance to protect your license and minimize the consequences of your arrest. To discuss your drunk driving case with an experienced defense attorney at Crooks, Low & Connell, S.C., please call (715) 842-2291 or request a confidential consultation today.