Believe it or not, the state of Wisconsin currently has DUI (or OWI, as they
call it) as a civil violation! The only punishment for a first
offender is a fine of between 150 and 300 dollars. This seems rather
ridiculous given the serious consequences that operating under the
influence can have. Not surprisingly, Wisconsin ranks 4th in the number
of DUIs it prosecutes. Clearly, there is not much of an incentive for
drivers to be responsible if they are only going to get a "speeding
ticket" and a similarly "priced" fine.
There are currently bills in the Wisconsin legislature to criminalize
DUI and provide stiff fines and sentences. One being a mandatory five
years in prison for any death resulting from a DUI. Wisconsin
prosecutors are not very busy, nor are their offices highly staffed. The
passing of these bills would mean a dramatic increase in workload and
the first question the state has to consider is will they have the
resources to deal with a sudden influx of criminal complaints.
Remember, never operate any vehicle or any machinery if you are under
the influence of any substance. If you live in Burlington, Essex,
Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne or anywhere in the State of
Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call
Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense.