Wisconsin - Second Drunk Driving Arrest
What steps do I take following my drunk driving arrest?
1. Request an Administrative HearingUnder Wisconsins Implied Consent laws you have given your consent to take a blood alcohol content test if you have been arrested for drunk driving and a Wisconsin law enforcement officer asks you to take the blood alcohol content test. This law does not apply to a preliminary breathalyzer test, which you may lawfully refuse, but refusal generally does not guarantee that you will not be arrested for drunk driving. Drivers who refuse to take the blood alcohol content test or who take the blood alcohol content test and have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08% will have their license suspended in a civil proceeding by the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles. Refusing the chemical test will result in a one year license suspension. If you have refused or failed the blood alcohol content test you have 10 days from the date of your drunk driving arrest to request an administrative hearing to contest your license revocation. The hearing will review whether or not the officer advised you of your rights, whether you actually refused to take the test, and whether the officer had probable cause for the drunk driving arrest. The administrative hearing will not have any impact on your criminal case. If you are eventually found innocent of DUI you will still face administrative penalties.
2. Determine if this is your first or second drunk driving arrestIf you have been arrested for drunk driving a second time you need to determine if this will be considered your first or second drunk driving arrest under Wisconsin state laws. Whether or not the state will consider this your second arrest will depend on how long it has been from your first arrest. This is called the look back period. If your drunk driving arrest has been within the legal look back period this will be considered your second OWI arrest and the state can add penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving a second time. The look back law is commonly used in DUI law to identify repeat DUI offenders and amplify the consequence to hopefully reduce recidivism. In the state of Wisconsin the look back period is 10 years. If your previous drunk driving arrest has been more than 10 years ago, this drunk driving arrest will be evaluated as if it was your first.
3. Identify the penalties for your drunk driving arrest.Now that you have determined this drunk driving arrest will be considered your first you can review your possible OWI penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving. In the State of Wisconsin you can expect to pay fines ranging from $150 to $300, have your license suspended for 6 to 9 months, have to apply for SR22 insurance to reinstate your license and have to take an alcohol assessment course. These penalties are separate from the administrative penalties listed above which are brought by the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (regardless of whether or not you are ultimately convicted of drunk driving).
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