The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported almost 23,000 OWI convictions in 2022. Being part of that statistic could be frustrating and upsetting.
It can help to get guidance on what to do after an OWI arrest for future situations.
Stay calm and compliant
After an OWI arrest, you should remain calm and cooperative with law enforcement officers. Resisting arrest or being confrontational can lead to additional charges and complicate your situation.
Understand your rights
You have legal rights, even after an arrest. These include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It is wise to exercise these rights.
Be aware of testing requirements
Understand that refusal to take a blood alcohol concentration test can result in additional penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license.
Document the arrest
If possible, make notes about the events leading up to your arrest. This can include details such as the time, location and any interactions with law enforcement. Such information may be valuable in building a defense.
If there were any witnesses to the events surrounding your arrest, consider obtaining their contact information. Witness testimony can be influential in legal proceedings.
Attend court appearances
Follow through with any required court appearances and comply with court orders. Failing to do so can lead to additional legal trouble.
Learn the consequences
Research the potential consequences of an OWI conviction. These may include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, probation or imprisonment.
Evaluate your options
Explore various legal options and defenses based on the circumstances of your arrest. Be open to considering alternatives such as plea bargains or diversion programs.
Acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and take steps to address any alcohol-related issues. Completing alcohol education or rehabilitation programs can demonstrate your commitment to personal growth, and the court may view it favorably.
Secure alternative transportation
If you are under a driver’s license suspension, make arrangements for alternative transportation. Do not drive under suspension.
Do financial planning
Be prepared for potential financial repercussions, including legal fees, fines and increased insurance premiums. It is advisable to budget for these expenses to avoid further financial strain.
Knowing what to expect and approaching the situation with knowledge can help to make an OWI arrest easier.