The penalties for drunk driving have never been higher. You can lose your license, pay costly fines and even land in jail. Beyond the court-imposed punishments, drunk driving convictions create a permanent criminal record and daunting social stigma. If you have been charged, it’s important that you work with an experienced Attorney. At the Law Offices of Angela M Aliota, we will fight to protect your rights.
How Do DUI/OWI Charges Work?
Driving under the influence or operating while intoxicated are charges leveled against operators that exceed a state’s legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. In both Illinois and Wisconsin, that number is .08 percent for drivers over 21. That standard can be lower for commercial vehicle drivers and those under 21 years old.
Once you have been stopped by police, a field sobriety test may be conducted. If you fail, law enforcement can conduct a breathalyzer test at the scene, and back at the police station after your arrest. If your BAC tops the legal limit, charges will be brought. Detection of a controlled substance that impairs your ability to drive can also be a reason to charge you criminally.
Can You Refuse a Test?
The courts consider you enjoying the privilege of a driver’s license as “implied consent” that you will submit to a sobriety test. While no one can force you to take a test, refusal may result in automatic penalties. These can range from a 12-month suspension of your driving privileges, to a required interlock device being installed in your vehicle before you can drive, to jail time. Refusal could also result in blood being drawn.
Mounting a Defense
The fact that law enforcement decided to charge you, doesn’t mean prosecutors will secure a conviction. In some cases, police exceed their lawful authority to stop and question you. If they didn’t follow a lawful process, we’ll petition the court to have the evidence and case thrown out.
In today’s high-tech world, police dash cam videos are helping wrongfully accused defendants. If you passed a documented field sobriety test such as walking a line, the police may not have had the right to request a chemical test. And, breathalyzer results can also be contested. Improper administration, and/or medical conditions can cause test inaccuracies. As an experienced criminal defense law firm, we will examine the state’s case and challenge its weaknesses.
The Law Offices of Angela M. Aliota provide experienced DUI/OWI criminal defense for the Wisconsin residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha County; as well as the Illinois communities of DuPage, Will, Kendall, Kane and Cook County. If you are facing a drunk or impaired driving charge, call today.