There are instances when a driver can get their first operating while intoxicated (OWI) or driving while under the influence (DUI) charge dismissed. If successful, this means the incident should not appear on your record and you can move on as if the whole thing never happened.
Some examples that can support a dismissal include:
- Lack of evidence. Prosecution must have evidence to support any criminal charges, including an OWI or DUI. A failure to have proper proof can result in dismissal. Examples could include not actually driving the vehicle or a blood alcohol content (BAC) that was not over the legal limit.
- Inaccurate breathalyzer. The machines used to analyze our breath for the presence of alcohol are not always accurate. An inaccurate reading can result in allegations of drunk driving that are simply not true. As a result, it is a good idea to dig into this issue and make sure, for example, that the state properly calibrated the unit prior to use.
- No reason for the stop. Our laws require officers to have a reason to stop a vehicle. If an officer conducts a stop without good reason, any evidence gathered during that stop is inadmissible.
The right defensive strategy to these charges will vary depending on the details of the case. Legal counsel experienced in this area of law can review your situation and provide guidance, better ensuring your rights are protected throughout the process.
Why should I fight back? Aren’t the penalties for a first OWI in Wisconsin pretty minor?
Again, this will depend on the details. If there was also an accident or someone was otherwise injured, the penalties can include a $2,000 fine and one year confinement. Even a first offense with no extenuating factors can result in the revocation of a driver’s license for 9 months and a $300 fine.