Each year in the United States, about a million people are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. In virtually all of those cases, the driver is asked to blow into a breathalyzer-style machine that estimates their blood-alcohol content. If it's above a certain level, typically 0.08%, the driver is arrested and brought to the precinct for additional testing.
Although Wisconsin police officers are trained to recognize when drivers are most likely drunk, establishing whether drivers are high presents a different challenge. The state of Wisconsin does employ drug recognition training to teach officers what to look for, but so far, there is no evidence-based test that has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration available to law enforcement officials -- or prosecutors.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving you might think you are at the mercy of the arresting officer. However, one of the best defenses available to you may be to think offensively about your arrest. The arresting officer must follow police protocol. If she failed to do so, that could be grounds for dismissing the charges.
Many people are arrested every day in this country for driving under the influence. Most of them are good people who made an unfortunate mistake, but that doesn't mean they won't face some serious consequences as a result of their actions. What some don't realize is that during the traffic stop for a DUI, the police have a long list of procedural steps they must take, and they must do so properly otherwise they risk botching the DUI case.
Over the years, DUI defendants here in Wisconsin have presented some pretty creative explanations for why the charges against them were erroneous. While some of these explanations are fictitious, others are true. And sometimes, the most outrageous sounding stories prove that truth can be stranger than fiction.
The many Wisconsin motorists who have been traveling the roads during this holiday season have possibly noticed an increase in police presence. This year, local law enforcement is strengthening its force on the roads, aiming to catch drunk drivers and make arrests.
Many criminal cases involving alleged drunk driving hinge on details about the traffic stop itself. This includes whether or not the police officer had reasonable suspicion (and therefore legal justification) to pull over the driver. Law enforcement officers who charge drivers with OWI do not need to suspect drunk driving when they first initiate the stop. Instead, they can pull someone over based on observed violations of traffic laws, lesser offenses such as vehicle maintenance issues or erratic driving.
Many Wisconsinites are still reeling from the loss that took the Packers out of the running for the Super Bowl. In spite of this, many of us will likely be watching the game this weekend. As they do every year, law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are already making their own Super Bowl plans, but their focus is not a television screen.
It is often thought that New Year's Eve is among the busiest drinking days of the year. This may be true, but it seems that Americans don't necessarily dry up after New Year's. According to one study, 14 of the 15 busiest drinking days in the U.S. each year occur between December and March.
We recently wrote about the increase in DUI enforcement on and around major holidays. Across Wisconsin, law enforcement agencies beef up patrols at this time of year to catch drunk drivers and get them off the state’s roads and highways.