Isn't it cheaper to just pay the OWI/DUI ticket and move on with my life?
No it is not!
This is a very prominent and damaging misconception, because the amount you’re required to pay right off the bat (the amount listed on the top right hand corner of the citation) is not the final amount you will pay upon conviction! This immediate forfeiture amount typically lies between $700.00-$1,000.00 and, unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the burdens you will have to bear.
Out of Pocket Costs:
If you are convicted of an OWI First in the State of Wisconsin you will be subjected to a mandatory AODA assessment (alcohol and drug assessment). This will typically cost several hundred to even a thousand dollars out of pocket. While an OWI First in the State of Wisconsin is a civil ordinance violation ticket and not a criminal offense, we are the only state in the USA which views it as such! Meaning, if you ever apply for a job out of state, your future employer may believe you have been convicted of a crime or even served jail time. Not to mention, if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was above the legal limit, but below .15, your drivers license will be revoked for a period of six to nine months.
If you were to apply for an occupational license during these proceedings, then even more restrictions, expenses and paperwork will apply to you. Upon receiving your occupational license, you will only be able to drive during certain hours of the day, typically before and after work. You would only be able to drive 60 hours per week on an occupational license. Which might seem like plenty of time, but most people’s driving obligations span far beyond these time restrictions, affecting both your personal and social life.
SR-22-High Risk Insurance:
After conviction you are required to update your automobile insurance to Wisconsin’s High Risk Auto Insurance, otherwise known as SR-22 insurance. While you won’t be subjected to SR-22 insurance for life, don’t think for one second insurance companies will simply forget about your drunk driving conviction. You could potentially see your auto insurance premiums increase to double or even triple your normal rate. Depending on how long you are required to keep SR-22 insurance you could potentially be facing a loss of hundreds to even thousands of dollars.
If it isn’t already clear it is in your benefit to fight an OWI conviction, hopefully, the financial and social burden of an ignition interlock will change your mind. Depending on the severity of your case and whether you’ve chosen an experienced attorney, you may need an ignition interlock device installed in your car.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock is a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The device works like a breathalyzer, measuring the alcohol in a person’s system. If the amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath exceeds a pre-programmed level, then the interlock temporarily locks the vehicle’s ignition. This device can cost up to $1,000.00 annually per car, keep in mind you must have an ignition interlock installed on any vehicle registered and titled in your name. Driving without an ignition interlock in the State of Wisconsin, if you are required to have one, could result in months of jail time as well as thousands of dollars more in fines. The interlock also changes your minimum BAC from .08% to .02%. For most people, blowing a .02% BAC requires less than one drink. Driving with a .02% or above BAC with an ignition interlock will essentially count as a second drunk driving offense, leading to the possibility of six months jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
What Can Be Done To Avoid These Costs?
There is plenty at stake when you receive your OWI conviction, don’t fight this up-hill battle alone! At the Konstantakis Law Office we fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed all together. Time is of the essence after receiving an OWI/DUI citation, do not hesitate to call our offices for a free consultation. Taking on an OWI/DUI citation by yourself leaves you liable to interpreting and handling all these legal variables by yourself, while also maintaining your social, personal, and professional life. Let us take this burden off your shoulders! Our firm is tried and proven in the area of drunk driving. We know what it takes to save you time, money, and stress. It’s your future why roll the dice with it? Call us today!
Contact our office to understand your options.
Konstantakis Law Office, LLC
5217 South 51st Street, Greenfield, Wisconsin 53220, United States
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