Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 10, 2012: OWI-1st (with .14 breath test result) Reduced to Non-Traffic City Ordinance Violation

Sometimes drunk driving arrests happen when you least expect them. RDR's case is a perfect example of this. It's also a perfect example of the lengths to which police officers will go to enforce Wisconsin's drunk driving laws in this day and age. When RDR showed up at the local police department to pick up his friend who had been arrested for drunk driving, he had no idea he was walking right into an arrest himself. But when a police officer smelled alcohol on RDR's breath when he arrived for his friend's release, the accusations quickly flew.  Before he knew it, RDR was locked up right next to his friend. This was devastating to RDR. As a logger, RDR was required to work long hours and operate all sorts of company vehicles to do his job. A drunk driving conviction was something that RDR just could not fathom. After all, he had gone his entire life without any type of traffic violation whatsoever and he could not bear the thought of having the life-altering stain of a drunk driving conviction blemish his record, and his future. He had to do something. Fortunately, RDR had heard about Dennis Melowski's recent jury trial win in the same community where RDR was arrested. He gave Dennis a call and hired him immediately. Dennis got to work right away, laying the groundwork for RDR's defense through careful questioning of one of the police officers at RDR's administrative suspension hearing. Dennis was so successful in undermining this officer's credibility that Dennis sent a copy of the hearing transcript right to the prosecutor in charge of the case. When the prosecutor read the officer's testimony, he knew the case was in big trouble. After some negotiations with Dennis, a fantastic deal was reached. The original drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, RDR plead no contest to a local city ordinance violation for Outside Consumption of Alcohol in Public. This non-traffic violation is an extremely minor offense and carries no suspension or revocation of driving privileges. In fact, it won't even appear on RDR's driver record. Aside from paying a fine of $389.50, RDR suffered  no consequences in this case. Most importantly, he avoided the terrible stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. Needless to say, he's very happy.