New legislation in Wisconsin creates stricter penalties for OWI offenders. According to a recent report, one bill would increase mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders. This means if someone gets convicted of their fifth or sixth OWI, a judge could sentence them to 18 months in prison.
In addition to steeper penalties, legislators also made changes to the state’s lifetime revocation policy. While all OWI charges in Wisconsin have some form of license revocation, the “four strikes and you’re out” rule was nearly impossible to implement. But now, adjustments to the 2017 legislation allows the state to enforce it thoroughly. However, this may be beneficial for some repeat offenders with older, prior convictions.
Evers says it’s for safety purposes
Governor Tony Evers says he hopes these changes help curb the number of drunk driving incidents in the state. He says Wisconsin is losing too many innocent people on state roads due to OWI related fatalities.
Could these policies hurt the falsely accused?
While Governor Evers and other lawmakers have good intentions, the new mandatory minimum penalty could end up hurting those wrongfully convicted.
One of the biggest myths about people accused of drunk driving is that they’re always guilty. As many factors contribute to a person’s OWI case, it’s hard to know if the evidence presented against the defendant is entirely accurate. Even if they’re guilty of previous convictions, that doesn’t mean they deserve another one if they weren’t breaking the law. If that’s the case, it could impose more unnecessary hardship on them.
Wisconsin motorists deserve fair representation
OWI charges can be scary for anyone, no matter how many convictions they receive. As Dane County prosecutors often show no mercy towards the accused, the stakes can be unusually high. Because of this, people charged with drunk driving deserve top-notch legal representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney could be the difference between a clean record and a conviction.