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THE STANGL LAW BLOG

What You Need To Know About Underage OWI in Wisconsin

June 22, 2020

I’ve talked at length about the consequences of OWI charges and convictions for adults in Wisconsin, but for those with underage teens who may be old enough to drive but too young to consume alcohol, it’s important to understand the differences between each group as the laws and penalties are not the same.

This article will provide important information relating to OWI for drivers not yet of the legal drinking age in Wisconsin. This offense is different than OWI with a minor passenger. For more information on that see my other article here.

Even if you feel confident your teen or teens would not drink and drive, it's still a good idea to discuss this issue under Wisconsin law so they know their rights in case they or their friends ever find themselves being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Madison or elsewhere across the state.

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Second Offense OWI in Wisconsin: Penalties & Next Steps

June 12, 2020


The penalties for second offense OWI can be significantly more severe than a first offense OWI.
Unlike a first offense OWI in Wisconsin, which is classified as a civil offense, a second offense OWI is a criminal offense without exception.

These include, but are not limited to possible jail time (up to 6 months), significant monetary fines of $350 to $1,100 plus surcharges, and mandatory driver’s license revocation for at least 12 months. Many factors can affect sentencing based on the circumstances of your situation.

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How To Hire A Wisconsin OWI Lawyer: 9 Questions to Ask

May 26, 2020

Posting bail after a drunk driving arrest can feel like a huge relief, but understand it's only the beginning in your battle against operating under the influence of an intoxicant or OWI charges in Madison or elsewhere across Wisconsin.

Since our state adopted stricter laws against some OWI offenses in 2016, it's more important than ever to consult a skilled Wisconsin drunk driving defense attorney if you've been charged with OWI, DUI, DWI, BAC, PAC or any other drug- or alcohol-related offense or offenses.

If you're like many people who get pulled over for drunk driving in Wisconsin, it's likely you've never had to hire a criminal defense attorney before, and may not know where to start. This article presents a list of nine important questions to ask to help ensure you find the right attorney for your needs.

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Boating Under The Influence In Wisconsin: What You Need To Know

May 22, 2020

Summer has arrived here in Wisconsin, and with it, the freedom to get out and enjoy our natural areas. For those who soak in the summer months on our many lakes and rivers, boating can be a great way to escape the heat and have a great time with friends and family.

But for those who want to relax on the water with a drink in hand, it’s important to realize that just like any other motor vehicle, there are serious consequences for those who go overboard with their alcohol consumption while operating a boat on our waterways.

Especially for those newer to boating, it may seem like the water is simply out of reach for law enforcement. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The state is very aware of the dangers intoxicated boaters pose and regularly deploy conservation wardens and boat patrols to look for drunk boaters throughout the season.

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Is it Illegal to Drink and Drive a Boat in Wisconsin?

March 30, 2020

Short answer: Yes. Just like drunk driving, operating a motorized boat is illegal if your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit. In Wisconsin, if your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you can be charged with intoxicated boating.

Whether you’re a state resident or a visitor, mixing any kind of motor vehicle activity with our state’s strong drinking culture can turn a fun afternoon out on the water into a dangerous situation both legally and otherwise. 

Wisconsin's waterways are not outside of the law. A relaxed attitude around drinking and boating is exactly what makes intoxicated boaters prime targets for conservation wardens and police patrols who regularly scan the waters for signs of suspicious drivers.

In 2019, 132 boaters were cited for boating under the influence of alcohol in Wisconsin. Law enforcement devoted more hours to boating activities than ATVs and snowmobiles combined.

Below, we've answered the common questions about BUIs in Wisconsin and what to do if you or someone you know is facing charges.

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4 Common Defenses Used in OWI Cases

February 26, 2020

If you find yourself facing charges involving OWI, it’s important to keep the specific circumstances of your particular situation at the forefront of your mind when preparing to make your case in court.

Your chances of making a successful argument against the prosecution are dramatically increased by hiring a skilled defense attorney with a good deal of experience in OWI, so finding suitable counsel should be your primary concern. Although it’s your lawyer’s job to craft an effective defense, being well versed in common defense strategies yourself can give you an added sense of assuredness in your team’s particular approach when it comes time to be heard in front of a judge.

With OWI prosecution often relying on tangible evidence such as blood alcohol content and other chemical tests given during traffic stops, the method by which officers administer these tests can be subject to scrutiny if officers do not conduct them adequately.

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Video: When and Why the Police Can Pull You Over

February 12, 2020

Watch this video to learn more about when and why police can pull you over.

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Understanding Your Right to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Wisconsin

February 4, 2020

"Relax."

That's probably not the first thought in your head when you're being pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Wisconsin. But that's exactly what you need to do.

The outcome of the traffic stop, your potential legal case and even your freedom all depend on your ability to remain calm, polite, and focused throughout the stop.

Keeping your focus during on OWI investigation also helps you stay mindful of your legal rights so you can avoid making decisions which might further complicate your case.

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Video: What to Do After You've Been Pulled Over

January 29, 2020

Watch this video to learn what you should do after you've been pulled over.

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The Consequences of Your First OWI in Wisconsin

January 18, 2020


Despite the commonly-held idea that a person's first drunk driving offense isn't a "big deal," it can bring life-changing consequences, not all of which may be apparent at first.

What's more, very few people realize that they can be convicted even if they were driving within the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. If the court determines a driver was "incapable of safely driving," while under the influence of any amount of alcohol, the penalties are the same.

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