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K&L Blog

Prescription Drugs and OWI: Can Following a Doctor's Orders Lead to an Arrest?

It's common knowledge that alcohol and certain prescription medications are not supposed to be mixed -- particularly if you're planning to drive. Prescription drugs for pain, anxiety and depression typically have alcohol-related warnings on the bottles, as well as warnings against drowsiness and operating heavy machinery.

Still, sometimes people make mistakes and find themselves facing an OWI charge after drinking alcohol and taking a prescribed medication.

With the Opioid Crisis in Wisconsin Ongoing, Prosecutors Are Cracking Down

In 2017 -- the most recent year with available data -- there were 916 opioid-related overdose deaths in Wisconsin. In 2016, Wisconsin saw 865 opioid-related overdose deaths.

The opioid crisis continues to affect families throughout the state. People with addiction problems may face serious criminal charges. If you or someone you love has been arrested for possession, sale or distribution of prescription painkillers or heroin, it's important to know the available treatment options, as well as the options for mounting your best defense against the charge.

Consequences of a First-Time OWI in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a reputation as a state where beer flows freely. While that may be true in one sense, the reality is that law enforcement in Wisconsin is cracking down on drunk driving.

There are heavy penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated -- for repeat and first-time offenders. 

Before Pleading Guilty, Consider Your Options

If you're facing a criminal charge, you undoubtedly want to put the matter behind you as soon as possible. For many people, that means taking a plea deal rather than going to trial.

But before you plead guilty to a serious criminal charge, consider this: a criminal conviction could follow you throughout your life. A conviction could affect everything from where you work to whether you can leave the country. So, before you plead guilty, consider every available option for fighting the charge.

Meth Use Has Skyrocketed in Wisconsin, Study Shows

Most adults in Wisconsin have heard about the opioid epidemic that's gripping the United States. Over-prescription of painkillers, ease of access and high potential for addiction are just some of the contributing factors.

However, right alongside opioid addiction is another continuing epidemic: addiction to methamphetamines. Unlike opioids, which can be obtained legally with a prescription, meth may originate from home "laboratories" or other supply chains that often originate outside the country. The medical and societal effects of meth addiction can be extremely serious, which is why some lawmakers have taken notice.

Milwaukee Takes Steps to Fight Opioid Addiction

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a known crisis. Perhaps you've experienced addiction firsthand, or know someone who has. If so, you're not alone. Opioid use has skyrocketed in Wisconsin and is now a leading cause of death in the state, surpassing car crashes, suicide and breast cancer.

Drunk Driving Defense: 3 Mistakes Police Make During OWI Stops

People throughout Wisconsin have been there -- they had one too many drinks and need to drive home. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated can lead to serious consequences, but you should know that if you find yourself in this situation, and if a police officer made a procedural mistake, your charges could be reduced or dropped.

Police by law have to follow strict procedures if they pull over someone who is believed to be driving while intoxicated, or if an officer is going to arrest this person. Police also have to follow guidelines when testing someone's sobriety. 

Marijuana Charges: Wisconsin Penalties Still Harsh

At a time when many states are legalizing marijuana or adopting laws that are more lenient when it comes to marijuana-related drug offenses, Wisconsin continues to enforce harsh laws and penalties around marijuana.

Possession of any amount is considered a serious crime on the state level, with potentially terrible consequences. There is no safe amount of marijuana to possess that's OK in the state of Wisconsin. While some Wisconsin cities have decriminalized possession of a small amount, state-level charges come with strict penalties.

Legislators Consider Tougher Penalties as Police Increase Holiday OWI Patrols

A bill that would increase penalties for repeat OWI offenses is receiving major support from Wisconsin lawmakers. The bill was passed unanimously in the state Senate in November, and police organizations have also voiced their support for the measure.

In early December, state lawmakers held a public hearing on the bill, which calls for permanently taking away a driver's license if the driver is convicted of OWI four or more times, or if the driver is convicted of OWI twice along with two "qualifying convictions." The qualifying convictions include certain felonies, such as homicide involving a vehicle.

Wisconsin Counties Plan to Sue Drug Makers for Opioid Epidemic

Opioid abuse has been declared a public health crisis in Wisconsin, and the reality is that anyone can develop a problem with opioids. Addiction affects people from all walks of life, and courts are gradually coming to realize that they can't simply incarcerate the problem away.

In fact, efforts are underway not only to provide more rehabilitation and resources to people struggling with addiction; multiple counties in Wisconsin are planning to sue pharmaceutical companies for their role in causing the epidemic.

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