Any criminal charge is serious, but the consequences of a first-time OUI, also known as DUI or DWI, can impact several areas of your life, including your right to drive. If you are facing drunk driving charges for the first time, it is critical to take the appropriate steps to protect your rights and long-term interests.
You should not underestimate the potentially long-reaching impact of an OUI charge. From the loss of your driving privileges to a permanent mark on your criminal record, it is worthwhile to seek the help of a defense lawyer in order to mitigate the potential penalties you face.
The consequences of a first-time OUI
Wisconsin has some of the strictest drunk driving laws and steepest OUI penalties in the country. If convicted of driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, you could be facing the following penalties for a first-time offense:
- Fines ranging from $150 to $300
- License suspension ranging from six to nine months
- Permanent mark on your criminal record
You will face arrest for drunk driving if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, the BAC level is .02 percent, and for commercial drivers, the legal limit is .04 percent. Drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test will face a license suspension of one year for a first offense.
Drivers charged with DUI, OUI or DWI often assume that there is nothing that can be done to fight these charges. In reality, it is possible to challenge the results of the breath test, the validity of the traffic stop and other aspects of the case against you. With the help of your defense attorney, you may be able to keep your record clean and your driver's license.
A conviction is never your only option
It is wise to explore your options when facing OUI charges. In many cases, it is appropriate to fight for lesser penalties or a dismissal of all charges, and your lawyer can help you identify which defense option is most appropriate for you.
Whether it is a first-time OUI or you have several convictions in your past, you will benefit from the help of an attorney who knows the law and who will tenaciously advocate for your rights and interests.