A 37-year-old man faces his sixth drunk driving offense after a law enforcement officer observed him driving during a snowstorm without the use of headlights. The Racine man has been labeled as a habitual traffic offender because of his history of DUI convictions and driving on a revoked license. If convicted on these latest charges, the defendant could receive a maximum prison sentence of three years along with fines that range upwards of thousands of dollars.
When the officer stopped the defendant for driving without lights, he alleged he smelled alcohol. Due to the inclement weather conditions and the fact that the defendant should not have been legally driving, the officer transported him to a nearby medical facility where the man submitted to field sobriety tests and a blood test. His blood-alcohol level registered .10 percent, which is above the legal limit of .08 percent in the state of Wisconsin. In addition, he allegedly failed the field sobriety tests.
Wisconsin strictly enforces serious penalties for offenders who are convicted of multiple DUI offenses. The consequences quickly increase for multiple convictions. However, a seasoned criminal defense attorney might be able to review the case for clients who face DUI charges. Just because you have been accused does not mean a conviction is automatic.
Many individuals accused of impaired driving do not realize that a lawyer might be able to raise doubts regarding the validity of breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. The prosecution knows that a conviction hinges on court acceptance of this evidence. If a lawyer can convince the judge to bar the evidence, the case will probably be dismissed. In other cases, the attorney might be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to reduce the fallout of a conviction.
Source: Mount Pleasant Patch, "Five-Time Drunk Driver Arrested During Snowstorm," Janine Anderson, Jan. 31, 2013