Weird DUI Plea: Save the Paws!

weird DUI save the pets pawsWe hear a lot of weird for DUI stories, and a lot of weird DUI pleas (beer battered fish, anyone?). However, we do not often get a chance to see how drunk driving can subsequently affect the lives of our furry, feathered, or finned friends. With the exception of this ad, of course:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56b09ZyLaWk]
Of course, it was refreshing to see a recent editorial take on the problem of those drunk drivers who are drinking while driving. That’s a DUI so dangerous that it takes a minute to realize that people still DO drink alcohol while driving (it is technically still legal in Mississippi). Otherwise, there would be no reason to beg driving drinkers to stick with cans of beer, not bottles so that their pets’ feet were not affected when empty (and broken) containers became litter on the sidewalk.

Breathe. Dogs, litter, cars, and alcohol do not mix. You’re not crazy.

Also remember that if you drink and drive while you have a dog or other pet in the vehicle, you are endangering their life, too. Your pet, much like a young child, has no choice but to ride along with you when you are intoxicated. For their safety, if not for yours or the safety of others on the road, ditch the drinks before you drive. You could have an aggravated DUI charge that reflects animal cruelty, on top of any other drunk driving consequences, like an ignition interlock device.

When it comes to DUI and our pets, remember that we are the ones who have to make the choices. So, let’s not drink while driving, or drink and then drive, let’s not litter, or try to get drunk on goldfish. Let’s keep all of the weird DUI things to a minimum so that we can enjoy our time with our animals, not missing their happy faces.

3 Ways to Violate Wisconsin Implied Consent Laws

wisconsin implied consentAll 50 states have implied consent laws. These laws are designed to compel drivers to produce blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results to determine if they are intoxicated. A test reading at or above the legal limit is a guaranteed arrest for OWI in Wisconsin. Even a lower amount can be probable cause to arrest a driver for drunk driving. Another way that police can have probable cause is if a driver refuses a BAC test when asked. that is officially a Wisconsin implied consent violation that carries additional penalties.

You agreed to Wisconsin implied consent laws when you applied for your driver’s license.

There are three opportunities to prove your commitment to those laws:

  • If you are pulled over by police and asked to submit a BAC sample, refusing that test is a violation of implied consent. Instead, you can agree to take the test at that time.
  • If you refuse the preliminary BAC test, you could be arrested based on probable cause. The general consensus is that if a person refuses BAC testing, they may be too intoxicated to make that decision properly. Therefore, an arrest will be made and you will then be asked for your BAC again. If you refuse the test after an arrest, you are in violation of the Wisconsin implied consent laws.
  • If you are in your own vehicle, trying to “sleep it off,” and approached by law enforcement, you will still be asked to provide a BAC sample. You do not even have to be driving, but appear to be in control of your vehicle (you could potentially drive away at any time) for you to be suspected of OWI. The same no refusal policy applies even if you are not driving.

Penalties for violating Wisconsin implied consent laws range from a one-year driver’s license revocation for a first offense to up to three years for a third offense. In some cases, you may qualify for an ignition interlock device. Those restrictions are on top of anything you may receive for the OWI in court or through the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.

Refusing the Facts? Virginia Implied Consent Penalties

virginia implied consentEach day law enforcement officers are confronted by, or must confront, drunk drivers. That danger is just one more reason states have strengthened their DUI and implied consent laws, to protect everyone on the roads, including our police officers. Virginia implied consent laws help keep everyone safe by quickly establishing whether a driver is intoxicated, and steps should be taken next.

Spoiler alert: violating Virginia implied consent laws will increase the penalties you face in court and with the DMV.

The first time you refuse BAC testing, if you are under arrest you will have Virginia implied consent violations added to your charges. If found guilty, you will have a one-year driver’s license suspension. However, that suspension is not a criminal charge.

If you refuse another BAC test during a different DUI investigation, the consequences for violating Virginia implied consent laws increase. Not only will you have a three-year license suspension, but you will then face a misdemeanor charge for the implied consent violation in court.

Refusing a BAC test before an arrest is not a violation of Virginia implied consent laws. But, your refusal could be considered enough probable cause to arrest you under suspicion of a DUI, after which you will still be required to submit a BAC sample (breath, blood or urine) at the roadside, or if you are taken to a police station, BAC testing will happen there. For many, this means their idea of waiting out a BAC test, hoping the can sober up, just will not work out how they intend.

Also, there are administrative penalties for refusing BAC testing that kick in immediately. Virginia is an all-offender ignition interlock Commonwealth (state), which means that on top of any implied consent violations and DUI penalties, you will likely end up with an ignition interlock device if you wish to reinstate your license.

Iowa Implied Consent Violations and Consequences

Iowa implied consentDrunk driving can cause tons of different problems. There is the obvious danger to others on the road, as well to the driver, which is why those problems are considered so serious. As such, all 50 states have some type of implied consent laws that say a suspected drunk driver cannot refuse blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing. Iowa implied consent and no refusal laws address these specific problems, with strict consequences for any violations.

Iowa implied consent laws state that you do not need to explicitly consent to a BAC test officer when asked to do something. It is assumed that you will just do it.  Plus, you actually signed your name in agreement with these laws when you first applied for your driver’s license. If you refuse BAC testing, those no refusal penalties and implied consent violation consequences kick in. Specifically, if you refuse BAC testing before or after an OWI arrest, you will face the following consequences:

Why do Iowa implied consent laws matter?

BAC declines over time as the body metabolizes the alcohol we consume. Many people feel that by refusing a police breathalyzer or other chemical test, they can increase the time it takes before having to inevitably submit a BAC sample to law enforcement. Or, they think that by waiting, their BAC will fall below the .08 percent legal limit. However, in most cases, refusing the BAC test just creates more reason, or probable cause, for a drunk driving arrest. Plus, a .08 percent BAC reading is not the only factor that contributes to an OWI charge, so you can still be arrested for and convicted of drunk driving if your BAC is below the legal limit.

Refusing the BAC Test is Violating Nebraska Implied Consent Laws

nebraska implied consentThe Nebraska implied consent law is a no refusal law that says you will submit a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) sample during a traffic stop if you are suspected of DUI. BAC testing can be by breathalyzer, blood or urine, but only the breath test can be administered by a law enforcement officer. You do not necessarily have to be at or above the legal .08 limit to be charged with a DUI, so refusing the test can make things more difficult. If you refuse to provide a test sample, you can be arrested for a suspected DUI even without the BAC test. In addition you will face consequences for violating Nebraska implied consent law.

Refusing a BAC test will not buy you additional time, or cause an officer to let you go with a warning. Many people think that if they cause enough distractions, they are guaranteed more time for their BAC to naturally lower. A lower BAC cannot even guarantee you will not be charged with a DUI. In fact, the only guarantee you have in any DUI situation is that when you refuse the BAC test, you face additional penalties for violating the Nebraska implied consent laws.

The mandatory consequence for violating Nebraska implied consent laws is a 90-day driver’s license suspension, on top of any other criminal penalties you will face.

On the bright side, instead of waiting out the 90 days driver’s license suspension, Nebraska implied consent laws allow you to immediately apply for an ignition interlock permit. Instead of defending your refusal in an administrative hearing with the Nebraska DMV (an action that is totally separate from the DUI court hearing), you can install and maintain the interlock for the duration of your 90-day administrative suspension period. The ignition interlock will allow you the freedom to keep driving yourself to work and back, as well as get to and from any important appointments, court dates, and meetings.

Illinois Implied Consent: Before and After Your DUI Arrest

Illinois implied consentWhen it comes to a DUI arrest, there are steps that are legally taken both before and after the incident. Illinois implied consent laws define what actions law enforcement officers can take during a traffic stop, and you agreed to follow those directions when you first applied for your driver’s license. In all 50 states, implied consent laws give law enforcement officers quick methods to get drunk drivers off the roads. Illinois is no different and has two different ways of getting those implied consent laws to work their safety magic.

Illinois implied consent laws say:

  • Before you are arrested, and during the traffic stop, you agree to take a preliminary breath test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC measures at or above the legal limit (.08 percent) then you will be immediately arrested for a DUI.
  • If you refuse the test, you could still be arrested based upon probable cause (refusing a BAC test could indicate you are intoxicated). In that case, you will still be required to submit a BAC sample as soon as you are in police custody.
  • You will face additional penalties for any DUI charge when you refuse the initial BAC test, under Illinois implied consent laws.
  • Your license will be revoked for at least one year, depending on the number of implied consent violations you have, on the 47th day after your BAC test refusal.

To reinstate your license after a DUI conviction or administrative revocation, you will have to complete several steps to prove your commitment to sober driving. You will be required to complete an alcohol evaluation that will determine the risk you pose to others on the road. You will need to pay any fines and participate in community service requirements. In some cases, you may be eligible for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) which will allow you to drive, as long as you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.

Arizona Implied Consent: Your BAC Test Refusal Options

Arizona implied consent violationArizona implied consent penalties fall under two different areas: the per se consequences and the no refusal consequences. As with the majority of states, Arizona has both criminal and administrative (DMV) penalties for a DUI, and that begins with the first test a suspected drunk driver is asked to take: the initial blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test via police breathalyzer.

Violating Arizona implied consent laws means you will face additional penalties.

For an admin per se violation of the Arizona implied consent laws, your initial cooperation with the breathalyzer test that indicates your BAC is at or above the per se limit of .08 percent will result in a 90-day license suspension. Of that 90 days, you will likely be eligible for a restricted license (and ignition interlock device) after 30 days. However, you will be given 15 days to get your affairs in order before the suspension goes into effect.

For the implied consent violation, you would have to refuse the initial breathalyzer test with the understanding that you will then be arrested (law enforcement probably will not just let you go when you refuse the breath test). You will then have no choice but to be BAC tested once in police custody. This type of violation will result in your license suspension for one year, with possible eligibility for a restricted license (and interlock) after 90 days. You will also be required to carry SR-22 insurance and provide proof to the DMV.

When you first applied for your driver’s license, you agreed to BAC testing if you were ever in a DUI investigation. Arizona implied consent laws are a big reminder of that initial commitment that was made to be a safe driver. Any Arizona BAC test refusals after getting your license are taken seriously, with the next step leading directly to further investigation of your ability to drive safely.

Texas Implied Consent Rules: Boating or Driving While Intoxicated

Texas implied consent for DWI and BWISummer is upon us, and with the season comes plenty of times to kick back with a few cold ones. Only, we all need to remember that our summer celebrations should be nothing but safe, even if we’re out on Canyon Lake near St. Marcos or any of the other popular Texas waterways. Driving or boating while intoxicated (DWI or BWI) in Texas have some similar themes, aside from that whole “intoxication” aspect. Both actions will cause criminal charges for operating a vehicle (land or water) if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08 percent. Both are also governed by Texas implied consent laws.

Texas implied consent laws are what you agreed to when you got your driver’s or boating license. Simply put, when you signed for your license, you agreed to BAC testing if you were suspected of driving or boating while intoxicated. When you refuse BAC testing, there are automatic penalties for that refusal, including a license suspension or possible ignition interlock requirement on your vehicles (boats are excluded from ignition interlock requirements).

Texas BWI code states that a first-offense violation is a misdemeanor with a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours. A first-offense DWI carries higher penalties, court costs and a longer license suspension than a boating while intoxicated conviction, but both can cause life-changing situations for the driver or anyone else who may be harmed during the incident.

There’s nothing better than summers in Texas, no matter where you call home. Ruining all that fun by driving or boating while intoxicated seems like a waste of a long summer. If you will be drinking, remember that you have some of the best resources today to ensure you have a safe way home, whether you call a rideshare service or get your buddy down the road to be your designated driver.

Refusing the Maryland Breathalyzer

refusing the Maryland breathalyzerWhen you’re sitting at a DUI traffic stop, you may think refusing the breath test will buy you time and allow your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to drop. But in Maryland, refusing the breathalyzer test is just going to increase your DUI penalties, and it will certainly not take the spotlight off of you and your dangerous driving.

A first-time refusal of BAC testing in Maryland means you will have a 270-day driver’s license suspension. That’s a long time to be without access to your own vehicle, and that suspension can have an impact on your employment and other responsibilities you have in life. Maryland wants you to recover from your DUI and allows you to opt for an ignition interlock installation instead of waiting out the suspension. With the interlock, you are able to drive again, but you have to prove your sobriety as you do so.

Not everyone knows that information offhand, and if we’ve been drinking, we may think we can outsmart the officer and get our BAC to a reasonable level. However, ignorance of the implied consent laws of Maryland won’t factor into you refusing the breathalyzer. Those implied consent laws were part of the paperwork you agreed to when applying for your license. You agreed to provide a BAC sample to law enforcement if you were suspected of drinking and driving. Refusing that during a traffic stop is a big indicator that you were drinking and driving.

Refusing a Maryland breathalyzer just leads to more trouble.

Rewind to the moment you had a choice in whether you’d be stopped for drinking and driving: that first step outside your door. You could have made a choice then to have a plan for a safe ride home. You wouldn’t have to worry about refusing a breathalyzer, and you’d be in the clear and back in your own bed, rather than dealing with the aftermath of a DUI.

What is Nebraska Implied Consent?

Nebraska implied consentImplied consent is a no refusal law in Nebraska that essentially says you will submit a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test if you are suspected of DUI. BAC testing can be by breathalyzer, blood or urine, and is only part of the DUI process. You don’t necessarily have to be at or above the legal per se limit to be charged with a DUI, as many impaired drivers are dangerous at lower BAC measurements. You do, however, have to provide a BAC sample. You actually agreed to do that when you first applied for your driver’s license.

Nebraska implied consent says:

(7)(a) Any arrested person who submits an application for an ignition interlock permit in lieu of a petition for an administrative license revocation hearing regarding the revocation of his or her operator’s license pursuant to this section shall complete the application for an ignition interlock permit in which such person acknowledges that he or she understands that he or she will have his or her license administratively revoked pursuant to this section, that he or she waives his or her right to a hearing to contest the revocation, and that he or she understands that he or she is required to have an ignition interlock permit in order to operate a motor vehicle for the period of the revocation and shall include sufficient evidence that an ignition interlock device is installed on one or more vehicles that will be operated by the arrested person. Upon the arrested person’s completion of the ignition interlock permit application process, the department shall issue the person an ignition interlock permit, subject to any applicable requirements and any applicable no-drive period if the person is otherwise eligible.

So, if you refuse a BAC test, your license is immediately suspended by the DMV. You’ll need an ignition interlock device (IID) to restore your driving privileges. You won’t be eligible for the interlock for 105 days after your arrest, as violating the implied consent law adds a mandatory 90-day suspension of your license.

Drinking and driving is no joke, and Nebraska is at the head of the pack when it comes to confronting the problem head on. It doesn’t pay to violate Nebraska implied consent laws, and you can lose precious time, energy and money over a bad choice to drive after you’ve been drinking.

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