Upping the Game: New Wisconsin Felony OWI Laws

Wisconsin felony OWIMany states are pushing for harsher convictions for drivers who choose to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, especially in the case of repeat offenders. One OWI offense can be seen as a mistake to be learned from, but repeatedly driving under the influence is a pattern of criminal behavior that must be rectified. States are now taking the steps necessary to remove these kinds of drivers from the road permanently. New Wisconsin felony OWI laws are part of that effort.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin took a big step towards safer roads for drivers just last year by adopting a new law that created harsher penalties for repeat OWI offenders. A fourth operating under the influence incident is now a Wisconsin felony OWI, no matter the time frame in which you received the prior OWIs. Previously, a fourth offense was only considered a felony if all OWI instances occurred within five years.

A fourth OWI is now classified as a Class H felony and carries larger fines and longer prison sentences. The penalties for a fourth offense Wisconsin Felony OWI include:

  • Fines between $600 and $10,000
  • Imprisonment for 60 days to 6 years
  • License suspended for 3 years

You also will be responsible for having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This is a requirement for a period of time starting with your first OWI. Due to the OWI  you will be considered high risk when looking for auto insurance, increasing your monthly expenses.

These penalties steadily increase as the number of Wisconsin Felony OWI incidents increase. Always have a trustworthy designated driver or contact that will pick you up if needed. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is one of the most irresponsible decisions you can make when transportation from a sober driver is so easily attainable.

Weird DUI: You Got a Wisconsin Snowmobile OWI?

Weird DUI Wisconsin Snowmobile OWIMost laws are the result of a person doing something wrong, something that hurts another person’s body, property, or possibly just their feelings. It may also be obvious that a lot of crimes occur under the influence of alcohol. Those innocent beers with friends quickly lead to dangerous decisions, because inhibitions are lowered or judgment flies out the window. While not violent, the weird DUI law criminalizing a drunken snowmobile ride in Wisconsin are still an indication that wherever there is alcohol and a vehicle, the lives and property of others need to be protected.

Evidently, intoxicated snowmobiling in Wisconsin is a pretty common, but weird DUI (OWI).

The state reports an unusually high amount of OWI incidents that occur on snowmobiles. This won’t surprise those who understand how Wisconsin OWI law works. For an OWI that occurs behind the wheel of a car, truck, or SUV the penalty is sometimes nothing more than a traffic ticket. Most first-offense OWI incidents are not criminalized, especially if nobody got hurt and nothing was damages (this type of OWI is defined as a “simple” drunk driving incident). Because the state does not take a strong stance against drunk driving, residents understandably do not see their intoxicated actions as a big deal.

That weird DUI attitude can also bleed over into other intoxicated crimes, including driving a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol, as well as violent crimes, sexual assaults, and more.

There probably is not one person out there who does not see the connection between alcohol and crime, or at least alcohol and bad decisions. Yet, each day, people still drink and drive, or drink and end up with an ignition interlock requirement, or in jail for those decisions. An OWI on a snowmobile may seem like a typical Wisconsin problem, but it is also an illustration of just how easy it is to make a smart choice before drinking and just not allowing alcohol to impair our own common sense.

Harsher Punishments for Nebraska Felony DUI Convictions

Nebraska Felony DUIThere is never a valid reason for drinking and driving. In this age of rideshares available at the touch of a button almost anywhere, DUIs seem particularly unforgivable. DUI penalties reflect this change with harsher punishments that can affect the rest of your life. States like Nebraska are coming down hard on irresponsible drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

There are currently severe repercussions for Nebraska Felony DUI convictions. As in all U.S. states, you are considered to be driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.08% or above or if visibly impaired. According to state law, possessing a Nebraska driver’s license means you consent to BAC testing and you may not refuse to submit to testing.

If your blood alcohol content is found to be above legal limits, you will be charged with a DUI. Your first through fourth offenses can be charged as misdemeanors of increasing degrees of severity, unless your BAC is over 0.15% and your charge is considered an Aggravated DUI which can result in a felony charge earlier.

Nebraska Felony DUI law automatically kicks in at the fifth DUI offense but is at the prosecutor’s discretion from the third non-aggravated offense in 10 years. That’s where the laws could get tougher, as the majority of states have a felony penalty at three convictions (three strikes).

The punishments for a Nebraska Felony DUI include, but are not limited to:

  • Up to 20 years in prison, 1-year mandatory, and/or up to $25,000 fine.
  • 12 points added to your driving record.
  • License suspended for up to 15 years.
  • Ignition interlock device once jail time is served.

With harsher punishments being issued across the nation, it is the hope that those who would be irresponsible enough to drink and drive will reconsider their available options. Call a cab, call a friend, or even call your mom, but do not get behind the wheel while under the influence.

An Iowa Felony OWI is No Laughing Matter

Iowa felony OWIDriving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state in the United States. Being under the influence not only slows your reaction times but it also decreases your night vision and mental acuity. We have all laughed at things people under the influence have done and said. But it becomes a lot less funny when they are behind the wheel of a car putting their and others’ lives at risk. There is nothing funny about drunk driving or an Iowa felony OWI.

Like other states, Iowa has severe penalties for an OWI, also known as DUI, conviction. Even before you are convicted, there is a considerable amount of time and money that you will have to sacrifice to get through the court system. If convicted, even a first offense carries penalties such as a mandatory 48 hours in jail, a fine of up to $1250 and suspension of your drivers’ license.

Iowa Felony OWI is even more serious. You can be convicted of an Iowa Felony OWI in three different circumstances; if you have previously been convicted of an OWI two or more times, your driving resulted in someone being seriously injured, or your driving resulted in a death. The severity of the penalties increases with the severity of the crime.

Some of the penalties associated with an Iowa Felony OWI are:

  • Prison sentence of up to 25 years depending on the charge
  • Fines or restitution to the victim
  • Substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation programs
  • Suspension or revocation of your license
  • Ignition Interlock Device

A felony conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. It will affect everything from employment and personal relationships to educational opportunities and your basic rights as an American. To live the life you were meant to, make sure you do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs of the legal or illegal variety.

Are You On the Road to Another Virginia Felony DUI?

virginia felony duiThere is a saying about people who make the same mistake time and time again, expecting a different result. With drinking and driving, continuing to put yourself and others on the line is not only a little crazy, but with each offense, you will face even stricter consequences. A Virginia felony DUI, for example, takes all your drunk driving offenses into account. It does not matter when they happened, or where, just that by the time you hit a third DUI, you are in Virginia felony DUI territory.

There is no lookback period, so a Virginia felony DUI is based upon all your convictions, even those that occurred decades apart.

When you have a felony DUI in Virginia, you will also face the following:

  • You will be labeled as a habitual drunk driving offender.
  • You will have a mandatory 90-day jail sentence.
  • You will have a felony record.
  • You will lose your driver’s license until you are eligible for an ignition interlock device.
  • You will give up your vehicle to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To restore your license, you will be required to participate in VASAP and be eligible for an interlock through both the Commonwealth and the Virginia DMV. If you re-offend after that time or are in violation of VASAP or your interlock agreement, you will lose your license again, forever.

A Virginia felony DUI is a big deal, and with the strict stance the Commonwealth takes against all drunk driving offenses, your best move is to steer clear of any problems. Have a safe plan for getting home if you will be drinking, one that keeps you from having to make a choice while under the influence of alcohol. You will save yourself a lot of legal and personal troubles, and you will save the lives of others on the road.

Weird DUI: Diabetes and Blood Sugar

weird dui diabetes and blood sugarThere are legitimate health concerns that can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. In some cases, those health issues may also test the validity of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, whether a police breathalyzer or an ignition interlock device. A weird DUI myth about blood sugar may actually have some legs, particularly when it comes to the dangers of driving. However, blood sugar, hypoglycemia, or diabetes is still not an excuse for drinking and driving.

There is a weird DUI connection to blood sugar and BAC testing, both biologically and behaviorally.

Anyone who has hypoglycemia or low blood sugar understands the sluggish feeling and foggy head when sugar levels drop. Some people get headaches or cranky, others may pass out. All of that, when driving, can make it difficult to operate the vehicle safely. On top of that, it has been shown that hypoglycemic people produce more acetone, which can register on a BAC test (breathalyzer or interlock).

None of that means that a person with diabetes or hypoglycemia can be excused from a DUI or drunk driving charge. It is actually difficult, if not impossible, to use diabetes or blood sugar issues as an excuse for drinking and driving. No matter what, a drunk driving charge is based upon the presence of alcohol in the system. Even if the BAC reading is below the legal .08 percent limit, a person who is driving dangerously can still be charged with a DUI. If that danger is due to blood sugar problems, the consensus is that the driver already knew they had physical problems that could impair their driving. Then they chose to drink. That is not a weird DUI, that is just asking for trouble.

The risks of impaired driving, whether by BAC, bad health or just a bad mood are obvious. Taking care of your health means eating right, limiting alcohol, and never getting behind the wheel if you go over the limit.

Those Missouri Ignition Interlock Violations Will Cost You

missouri-ignition-interlock-violations-cost-youThe Missouri ignition interlock program is committed to keeping drunk drivers from making another intoxicated mistake. Unfortunately, not all DWI drivers are as committed to safe driving, even with an interlock device. Instead, they risk Missouri ignition interlock violations for trying to get out of their court- or DMV-ordered requirement. The penalties and consequences for those violations just show how much Missouri wants you to get done with your device and be a safer driver once it is removed.

Risking Missouri ignition interlock violations means that you may have:

  • Violated the Missouri ignition interlock laws by not using the device installed on your vehicle. Either you used another vehicle you owned that was not equipped with the device or you borrowed someone’s vehicle.
  • In some cases, refusing a test may happen during a rolling retest, or while the vehicle is being driven. If this was unintentional, you should have an opportunity to test once you are out of traffic. Not testing once you are in a safe place will then be considered a violation.
  • You blew a test result that was over the pre-set limit, indicating you have been drinking and attempted to drive.
  • Missing a service appointment is one of the Missouri ignition interlock violations

In most cases, these violations will add a mandatory six-month extension of the interlock requirement onto your current court order. In other cases, you could be removed from your interlock program or even face jail time. If your BAC is reportable, then you could face additional drunk driving charges and the penalties for those.

Remember that despite the influence of alcohol, you made a choice to drive while intoxicated. With an ignition interlock device, you face similar choices when you start your vehicle. Risking Missouri ignition interlock violations is more hassle than it is worth, and discovering that the hard way should never be a part of your recovery after a DWI.

Weird DUI: Toothpaste and Your BAC

weird DUI toothpaste mythWhen we get ready for a fun night with friends, we usually have a checklist of things to do before we leave the house. Not often enough does that checklist include a designated driver or a plan for a safe ride home if we are drinking. However, we usually do make sure we look and smell our best, including our teeth. This may get a little fresh, but we are here to expose another weird DUI myth: toothpaste and a positive breathalyzer test.

Much like the intoxicated milk theory, this blood alcohol concentration (BAC) myth is filled with assumptions and just plain bad information. Toothpaste will not be a factor in any drunk driving arrest or conviction. The weird DUI truth is that while there is sorbitol, or sugar alcohol, in many brands of toothpaste… sugar alcohol is not the substance that breathalyzers (or ignition interlock devices) detect. The stunner in this is that sugar alcohol is not even alcohol.

On top of that, even if sugar alcohol was detectable by a breathalyzer or ignition interlock device, you would have to have a lot of toothpaste in your mouth to register a BAC high enough to be illegal… or concerning. Intoxicated people drink a lot of alcohol, they do not binge brush their teeth. True story.

Would your dentist approve of your weird DUI?

Toothpaste has two things in common with some mouthwashes, or those products that actually have a shot at a false BAC reading: mint flavor and oral hygiene. Mint will not set off a breathalyzer, however. The alcohol in some mouthwashes will. That is why one of the big tips for those with an ignition interlock device is to make sure they swish out any mouthwash before submitting a breath sample. The trace amount of alcohol left behind by mouthwash can trigger a false positive reading on an interlock, but that is also at a much lower level than the legal limit for a DUI.

Tough Times and Mississippi Ignition Interlock Violations

mississippi ignition interlock violationsWhen you have a Mississippi ignition interlock device, you’ve been given back your independence and freedom to drive… as long as you do so while sober. For any drunk driving conviction, you will likely have an interlock for some time, which is a good thing. You do not have to depend on others for transportation, and you can keep your job and other obligations in check. The thing you want to make sure you stay away from are any Mississippi ignition interlock violations.

Mississippi ignition interlock violations include:

  • Asking another person to blow into your ignition interlock to start your vehicle, or during a rolling retest.
  • Attempting to tamper with or circumvent the ignition interlock device.
  • Not installing the device as ordered by the court.
  • Blowing off any service or calibration appointments.

Any Mississippi ignition interlock violations will cause the offender additional consequences, including a fine between $250 – $1,000 and a possible jail sentence of up to one year, or both.

Other violations with a Mississippi interlock include blood alcohol concentration (BAC) violations. Simply stated, the device is set to detect any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, just like a police breathalyzer. Even a trace amount can be recorded and stored in the data, but it is the BAC that exceeds the set limit that can be the biggest problem. Most interlocks are set to disable an ignition system between .02-.03 percent BAC, or around the same amount of alcohol in one standard drink. If you fail your test due to a BAC reading, you’ll face additional time with the interlock device or removal from the program entirely.

Keeping your freedom to drive is the idea behind the interlock. Otherwise, you’d just be back to bumming rides from friends after a Mississippi DUI. Don’t let those violations cost you your freedom. Stay sober and let your interlock do its job, so you can keep doing yours.

Use It or Lose It: Texas Ignition Interlock Violations

texas ignition interlock violationBlood alcohol concentration (BAC) is not only what legally defines a DWI in Texas (and across the U.S.) but it is also what is measured by ignition interlock devices after a DWI conviction. Failing a BAC test is a Texas ignition interlock violation and a big obstacle in resuming life as normal. Texas law has specific penalties for those ignition interlock violations, all of which ensure that the roads are kept safe from future drunk driving incidents.

Ignition interlock devices prevent 67-90% of subsequent drunk driving incidents, but only when they are used.

Depending on the circumstances of the drunk driving incident, a Texas DWI offender was given the choice (or required) to install an interlock by the court or through the DMV (or both). Texas ignition interlock violations become much less understandable given that there is once again a choice being made by the offender: whether to drive sober or attempt to get around the system and/or device.

Texas ignition interlock violations include tampering with the device, asking another person to blow into the interlock, driving a vehicle that does not have an interlock installed, or registering a BAC above the preset limit.

Penalties for any of those Texas ignition interlock violations include:

  • Revoking the interlock privilege and restricted driver’s license completely.
  • Ordering the offender to wear a Secure Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) bracelet.
  • Disallowing any participation in interlock or probation programs, and instead enforcing a jail sentence.

If you are an offender who uses your Texas ignition interlock device as instructed and has no problems with failing the ignition interlock test, you’ll be ahead of the curve in no time. Risking Texas ignition interlock device violations is never worth the restrictions that quickly follow as a result of those actions. Just drive sober and do your part in showing your commitment to safety.