The legal limit for Wisconsin drivers is a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, but residents of the Badger State who are under the age of 21 are considered legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of just .02 percent under the state’s zero tolerance law. Police in Brown County took an 18-year-old man into custody on drunk driving charges twice in less than three hours during the early morning hours of June 4, and toxicology tests suggest that he would have been well over the legal driving limit even if he were over 21 years of age.
Officers with the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department say that they first encountered the man when they responded to a call about a one-car accident on South Broadway at about 4:20 a.m. Police claim that the man behind the wheel of the damaged car told them that he had lost control of his vehicle and struck a light pole when he took his eyes off the road to use his cellphone. He was taken into custody after allegedly failing a standardized field sobriety test. Reports indicate that his blood alcohol level was .157 percent when he crashed.
At about 7:00 a.m., another officer who was helping to control traffic at an area triathlon says that he observed the man behind the wheel of a vehicle. Police say that the man had been released from custody when a responsible adult signed a Responsibility Agreement that included a vow to not allow the man to operate a motor vehicle. The man was taken into custody for the second time after failing another field sobriety test and recording a blood alcohol level of .121 percent according to reports.
A drunk driving conviction can cast a long shadow, and this can be especially true for young offenders. Criminal records checks are a part of most standard background investigations, and even minor offenses can make it difficult for young people to gain admittance to college, find a job or rent an apartment. Prosecutors will likely be aware of these consequences, and experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge them to show leniency when their clients have caused no injuries to others and appear to be genuinely remorseful.