A new bill that would toughen Wisconsin's drunk driving laws faced little resistance at a hearing on May 2. The bill was written by Republicans Jim Ott and Alberta Darling and aims to increase mandatory jail time for those who are repeatedly convicted of drunk driving offenses, and for those involved in accidents that caused injuries, even if their BAC is below the limit.
A jury returned a guilty verdict for a 19-year-old man from Dane County, Wisconsin after four people died when he drove while under the influence of alcohol and drugs in February 2012. His car slammed into an electric pole near Madison, but the defendant fled the scene and was arrested a few blocks away. He was initially charged with four counts of homicide by ; however, the charges were later amended to 17 counts, including 12 felonies. The jury found him guilty of eight homicide charges, obstructing an officer and driving with no license while he was found not guilty of failure to follow legal obligations in a crash. The man's passengers, three teenagers and a 25-year-old man, were tended to at the scene. All four died from traumatic injuries, three onsite and one within a day at a medical facility. The defendant was also treated for injuries after the accident. He was arrested and held in custody on an immigration detainer.DWI
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.
A woman who killed three people in a DWI accident in 2011 received a six-year prison term followed by 15 years of community supervision. Her van swerved off the road into a residence and killed three members of a family. The defendant was convicted of three counts of homicide. The woman who was driving also sustained injuries in the accident and came to court with a walker. Her six-year-old son also suffered injuries. The woman's husband and four children were in the courtroom when the sentence was officially handed down.
Criminal charges can be embarrassing. Nobody wants to be charged with a crime such as drunk driving or something similar -- particularly someone in the public eye. However, this is exactly what has happened to a former Wisconsin state senator, who was cited last weekend not only for drunk driving but also was taken into custody on disorderly conduct charges -- possibly related to a domestic incident.
A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, father has been accused of felony drinking and driving with two minors in his vehicle. Law enforcement personnel originally detained him in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, when they observed him driving too fast after a family reunion. Officers clocked him at 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. However, after they stopped him, they allegedly found he had been drinking. Court records revealed that the man is facing his third OWI offense with prior convictions in 1999 and 2009. Penalties for the OWI he now faces include $4,000 in court costs and up to 24 months in custody. Police reports indicate that the children are 12 and 15 years of age. The courts can enhance consequences for OWI when there are minors in the vehicle.
Several weeks ago, we told you about a Green Bay man who was arrested on his 5th OWI charge. As it turns out, that pales in comparison to a Wisconsin man who was recently arrested on his 13th OWI charge, a felony.
Being arrested on drunk driving charges can carry serious consequences. The situation may be even more extreme if a driver has previously faced OWI charges.
When a Milwaukee man was pulled over for drunk driving last April, he allegedly fled after his arrest. Officers apprehended him after he apparently resisted arrest, but they used such force that an investigation was launched after video of the violent arrest surfaced. Nevertheless, the man is now being charged with fleeing as well.
When people drink to the point that they can't keep their vehicle on the road, they have a problem. And they also give police cause to pull them over and possibly arrest them.