Wisconsin law enforcement is vigilant about drivers who may be on the road after drinking or using drugs. This means they will initiate traffic stops and investigate if they see signs of a driver who is under the influence. While this may be a worrisome experience for the driver, it does not necessarily mean there will be an automatic conviction. After the traffic stop, investigation and an arrest, it is important to understand that there are avenues to lodge a defense and avoid the worst possible penalties.
A resident of Appleton was placed under arrest for operating while impaired (OWI). In addition, she faces charges for having a child in the vehicle and for possession of marijuana. The woman, 28, was in a 2015 Cadillac. She was heading south on the interstate when the traffic stop was initiated. When officers investigated, they found a 14-year-old girl was a passenger. The woman was given a field sobriety test that suggested she was impaired. Upon conducting a vehicle search, the marijuana was found. She faces multiple charges including OWI with a child younger than 16, along with the drug possession.
There is a litany of possible penalties if a person is convicted of OWI. The circumstances will determine how severe they may be. If there was a child in the vehicle, the allegations are more significant than they would be if the driver was alone in the vehicle or was driving with adults as passengers. Another challenge will be the possession of marijuana, which is still illegal in the state. The driver faces the possibility of jail time, fines, lost driving privileges and more. There are, however, ways to formulate an effective defense.
The traffic stop might not have been done according to established police procedure; the testing could have violated the driver’s rights; the equipment used to conduct the test might have been faulty; or the driver potentially had a viable reason for appearing to have been under the influence. Regardless of the situation, having legal advice may be the most important part of combating the charges. It is often possible to reach a plea agreement or get an outright acquittal. A law firm experienced in drunk driving and accompanying charges can analyze the case and prepare a defense. This may be key to a positive outcome.