Monday, May 7, 2012

May 2, 2012: OWI-1st and Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to County Ordinance Violations

Like many people, when KES refused to submit to a blood test following his drunk driving arrest, he thought he was doing the right thing to help his case. After all, if the police don't know your blood alcohol level, how can they prove you were legally drunk? Unfortunately, this way of thinking does not account for the provisions of Wisconsin's Implied Consent Law, which makes it illegal for you to refuse a breath or blood test if you are lawfully arrested for drunk driving. If you do refuse, it only makes things worse because it exposes you to an additional charge (Refusal of Chemical Test) which carries lengthy revocation of your driving privileges and mandatory ignition interlock installation if you are convicted. This is especially true in a first offense case, where the length of revocation can be twice as long for refusing the test than for the drunk driving charge itself. On top of that, refusal charges are very tough to defend, since there are only a very limited number of defenses that can be raised.

Fortunately, KES was referred to Melowski & Associates by another attorney familiar with Dennis Melowski's unmatched record of success in dealing with these types of cases. Although the case against KES initially looked strong, Dennis' persistent negotiations eventually paid off. And in a big way. Just two days before KES's refusal hearing, Dennis negotiated a remarkable deal. Both of KES's original charges (OWI and Refusal of Chemical Test) would be dropped. In exchange, KES agreed to plead no contest to two non-traffic, non-alcohol-related county ordinance violations. These ordinance violations carry no loss of license and will not even appear on KES's driver record. KES paid a fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences as a result of his arrest. Most importantly, as a well-regarded businessman in his community, he was able to completely avoid the life-altering stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. Needless to say, KES is ecstatic.