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WI & drunk driving: New OWI laws in effect, are more to come?

Wisconsin lawmakers are cracking down on drunk driving violations in the state. Lawmakers have found success moving proposals forward and are gaining momentum on others. This piece discusses recent changes that are currently in effect, likely changes in the future and things that are expected to remain the same. It will also clarify how these changes could impact those who are accused of drunk driving.

IoT and evidence: Will your smart home work against you?

It may seem like something straight off the SyFy channel. A tragic death occurs at a home after a group of young men get together to watch a football game. Was it an accident? Was it murder? The police have a way to get evidence about the potential crime - a smart home device that may have been recording conversations during the alleged altercation.

The storyline above, of course, is not the plotline for a movie. It is reality. It involves the tragic death of a young man in Arkansas and is under investigation. Media reports picked up the investigation because it involves a rather novel attempt to get data from an Echo device.

Innocence lost: 3 tips when facing online character assassination

Character assassination is not a new thing. People have dealt with false accusations and presumptions of guilt for generations. Although these attempts are not novel, the process used to achieve this goal has evolved.

Gone are the days when one person would verbally share information with another in an attempt to damage a foe's reputation. Today it only takes the click of a button and false accusations can be shared with millions.

Three common heroin offenses and penalties in Wisconsin

Heroin use is on the rise. A recent publication by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports that heroin use climbed 34 percent between 2013 and 2014. These numbers are more than just data from a study - they translate to real people with real struggles throughout the country.

Will Wisconsin have a white collar crime registry?

When you hear about criminal registries, you probably think about sex offenders. You may think these registries are designed with the intention of keeping the public safe from those that the justice system has deemed violent, including only those that could cause physical harm to the public.

The use of a criminal registry just for sex offenders may soon be a thing of the past. Some states are putting together similar registries for those who are convicted of white collar crimes.

Impact of Supreme Court holding on Wisconsin DUI stops

Stopped for drunk driving? It is not uncommon for the officer conducting the stop to ask for a breath or blood test to determine if you have been drinking - but what are your rights during these stops? Do you have to submit to this test?

The extent of your rights in these situations was recently discussed by the ultimate judicial authority: the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

New WI OWI law: What drivers need to know

A new drunk driving law, which went into effect in Wisconsin in March, allows officers to move forward with a blood draw when they suspect the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The big change: drivers no longer have the right to refuse this test.

Can officers just take my blood?

The short answer to this is: sometimes. Officers cannot pull you over, hold you down and stick a needle in your arm. They are still required to get a warrant to conduct a blood draw.

Implied consent laws and their constitutionality

Wisconsin's Brad Schimel, a well-known and staunch advocate of states' rights joined 17 of his fellow state attorneys general filing a friend-of-the-court brief in three DUI cases under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The cases address state implied consent laws and their constitutionality. The brief filed by Schimel and his contemporaries argue for a decision upholding the state statutes.

New bill proposes an alcohol-monitoring bracelet

While jail time, fines and license suspension may accompany a drunk driving conviction, those penalties do little to resolve what many times is the root of the problem. A new bill in the Wisconsin legislature is addressing the core of what led many state residents convicted of OWI.

Can DUI Laws Be TOO Tough?

While progress has been made, drunk driving is a continuing problem in need of a solution. Far too many people make the decision to drink and get behind the wheel of a car, causing injuries and death.

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Christopher T. Van Wagner S.C.
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