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January 15th, 2024 |

From Tipsy to Ticketed: Drunk Driving during the Holidays

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From Tipsy to Ticketed: Drunk Driving during the Holidays

With winter comes holiday celebrations, but unfortunately, it also causes a spike in drunk driving and car accidents. It’s not surprising – with people coming together to celebrate, there’s a tendency for more people to hit the road under the influence.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider the legal implications and precautions associated with the heightened risk of drunk driving during the winter season.

The first question many people ask when they’re in a drunk driving situation is, “What should I do if I’m pulled over?” If you find yourself in Wisconsin and the flashing lights appear in your rearview mirror, it’s important to remain calm. Be polite and wait until the officer is at your window to hand over your ID and insurance information.

You should also be aware that you don’t have to do the field sobriety tests like the “Walk and Turn Test” or the “One Leg Stand Test.” You can also decline the roadside breathalyzer. Saying no to these tests does not guarantee you won’t be arrested, however. If the cops spot signs of alcohol or drug use, like slurred speech, alcohol on your breath, bloodshot eyes, or swerving, they can still arrest you.

If you happen to get pulled over or arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or over 0.08%, you’re likely going to get a DUI or OWI. These terms are thrown around a lot, but what they mean can vary depending on the state.

OWI and DUI both refer to drunk driving. A DUI means “Driving Under the Influence,” which can include driving under the influence of

  • Alcohol,
  • Drugs (legal or illegal),
  • Sleepiness, or
  • Anything else that messes with your ability to drive.

An OWI, “Operating While Intoxicated,” could stand for operating a part of the vehicle, even if it’s stationary, while intoxicated or impaired. If you’re pulled over and ticketed in Wisconsin, you will likely receive an OWI.

If you do find yourself charged with a DUI or OWI, knowing your options is very important. You should get legal representation right away. An experienced criminal attorney can help you through the legal jargon, look at your case, and figure out the smartest move to build a defense for you. They can challenge the traffic stop for lack of probable cause, question BAC test results, or try to knock those charges down a notch. Depending on your case, joining alcohol education programs or doing some community service might be your way out.

The risk of drunk driving goes up during and after the holidays. So, it’s crucial to know what to do if you’re pulled over, the difference between DUI and OWI, and be aware of the potential consequences. If you find yourself facing charges, getting a criminal defense attorney is your best bet to navigate the case and hopefully help you come out on top. Our Christian lawyers at The McLario Firm have a proven track record in criminal defense and are here to advocate for you.


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