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The “Not a Drop” law in Wisconsin prohibits any driver under the age of twenty-one years old from driving a vehicle after the consumption of alcohol. Any underage driver with a BAC
from 0.0% to 0.08% can be charged with an underage OWI.

Penalties

Although an underage OWI does not typically result in jail time, it does come with serious penalties consisting of fines and demerit points. The driver charged will generally receive a fine of $200, and if they had a passenger under the age of sixteen, a fine of $400.

Underage drivers charged with OWI in Wisconsin will also be given four demerit points on their driving record. These points can have the potential to cause an increase in insurance or make another ticket more likely in the future.

Underage drivers who are suspected of drinking and driving must submit to a breathalyzer test, although they are allowed to refuse if they are willing to face the penalty. If a driver refuses, they will incur a six-month license suspension, or a twelve-month license suspension if they had passengers under the age of sixteen. Upon refusal, a driver may be forced to have a blood test. If these results show an unlawful BAC, the driver will be charged with both a refusal and a failure.

If the underage driver fails a BAC test with anything over 0.0%, they face a three-month license suspension, or a six-month license suspension if they had a passenger in the car under the age of sixteen. If the driver tests with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they will likely face standard OWI charges and penalties.

Do not drink and drive, especially if you are underage. If you find yourself being charged with an underage OWI, contact an experienced attorney to help you defend yourself in court.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice offers a “felony procedure” flowchart and a “misdemeanor procedure” flowchart. These flowcharts detail the stages of a felony and misdemeanor respectively, up until sentencing. It is important to inform yourself on how the criminal justice system functions in Wisconsin. If you have lingering questions about the process leading up until sentencing or need help avoiding an unfavorable sentence, contact J. Kippa LLC. To obtain the best outcome possible, it is important to seek representation early.

https://www.doj.state.wi.us/ocvs/understanding-criminal-justice-system

Visions of nationwide and statewide unrest have not been scarce since the May killing of George Floyd during his Minneapolis arrest. It should not come as a surprise therefore, that following the blaring public cries for police force reformation, a new Gallup poll tracking public confidence in key United States institutions has displayed that confidence in police is at an all-time low.

With a five-point decline from last year, the 48 percent figure shows the first time in 27 years of the poll that results for the police category have been below a majority level. In the past, the percentage of polled individuals expressing they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police has been as high as 64 percent.

As the Gallup poll indicated a decrease in confidence in the police force, it simultaneously showed a rise in confidence in institutions that have proved to drive success in the face of COVID-19. These institutions include the medical system as healthcare workers serve on the pandemic’s frontlines, and public schools where teachers have conquered the feat of virtual learning.

What is the state of police reform in Wisconsin?

On Juneteenth, Governor Evers revealed a package of police reform bills. The nine bills included:

  • Prohibition of no-knock search warrants
  • Prohibition of the use of chokeholds
  • An escalated amount of training for police on use-of-force options and techniques to de-escalate situations
  • Yearly data about and reporting on use of force incidents

However, these bills have yet to be passed. As Wisconsin legislation fails to progress, fast action has been taken in statewide school systems. Both Milwaukee and Madison schools have terminated their contracts with police. Private businesses have also taken independent action in ending contracts with police forces.

As the police reform platform continues being discussed and practices are yet to be refined, it is important to know that you maintain rights during any police confrontation.

Imagine you were able to hop into a time machine, go back to mid-2019, and tell yourself that within a year the national discourse will be centered around whether prisoners should be released, police departments defunded, and prisons shut down. Chances are your past self wouldn’t believe it.

2020 has been a year like no other, with the spring we are living through coming to be defined by the twin crises of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the aftermath of George Floyd losing his life at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Both issues have converged on the issues of prisons and criminal justice reform.

Coronavirus And Prison Safety

Our nation’s prisons have been identified as facing a high risk of coronavirus outbreaks due to the proximity of inmates and prison staff.

Now there is a renewed push to release inmates who have been granted parole in order to limit their potential exposure to the coronavirus. In an example out of Texas, Juan Escobedo has had a parole request approved but must spend six more months behind bars as he completes a substance abuse recovery program. He “is watching with fear as coronavirus spreads like wildfire in prisons across Texas and the country, wondering every day if his punishment will become a death sentence.”

According to USA Today, his situation is not uncommon and “inmates advocates are pushing officials for their release, saying they can complete life skills, recovery, or other programs online or in the community.”

Protests Lead To Talk Of Prison Abolition And Defunding The Police

While we continue grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, our nation’s streets have been filled with marchers, demonstrating in the wake of Floyd’s killing last month. Along with the demonstrations, conversations have turned in the direction of how to reform our nation’s police departments and criminal justice system.

One idea that is graining traction is the abolition of prisons. The United State’s incarceration rate is the highest in the world, “to the point where the country constitutes about five percent of the world’s population and yet houses 25 percent of the world’s prisoners”.

Abolitionists argue that our current system cannot be fixed by reform; it is too far gone and based on false premises. Instead, leaders of the abolition movement say that “society must invest in communities and address harm in other ways”.

Other activists – while not going as far as calling for the abolition of prisons – have called for the defunding of police departments and making significant structural changes. Proponents say that taking issues such as mental health off the plate of police departments would benefit citizens and the police. According to a report by The Cut, “law enforcement spends 21 percent of its time responding to and transporting people with mental illnesses.”
In a time of great uncertainty, one thing seems certain: change is coming.

What a time to be alive.

Unless you have been around long enough to remember the polio epidemic or lived in Asia during the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, you haven’t experienced anything like this.

One of the strangest scenes playing out on social media feeds and television screens are images and video of places like the Vegas strip, Times Square and interstate highways free of traffic. Essential employees who used to spend an hour driving to work are now experiencing smooth sailing during what used to be rush hour.

Before you decide this is the perfect time to hop in the car, crank up the tunes, and put the pedal to the medal, you must understand one thing: law enforcement officers are essential employees. State troopers are out on patrol and they have far fewer cars to keep an eye on.

How To Avoid Being Pulled Over

The best thing you can do to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with a trooper or police officer is to follow the posted speed limit, stay within the lines and make sure you follow all posted traffic signs.

What To Do If You Are Pulled Over

You may find yourself being pulled over despite your best intentions. If that happens, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Stay calm: Take a deep breath and take things one step at a time.
  • Keep your hands visible: Keeping your hands on the steering wheel is best; it makes officers nervous when they cannot see where your hands are. If asked for your registration or insurance information, it’s a good idea to say “Okay. I’m going to reach into my glove box now to get my card.”
  • Be pleasant and respectful: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Zip your lips: You are under no obligation to tell the officer whether you’ve had a drink, how many drinks you’ve had, or whether or not you’re on your way home from having a socially distant driveway beer with your buddies.
  • Get legal help as soon as possible: If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you need an attorney working to protect your interests. The next words out of your mouth should be “I’d like to speak to an attorney.”

We hope you will never need these tips but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

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