Just A Slap On The Wrist ….. Well No Actually!

A local OWI prosecutor recently “checked in” on Facebook at the courthouse at a fairly late evening hour. A comment was posted that such late work was a “waste of your time for a slap on the hand.” To say I was shocked is an understatement.

At this firm, we defend citizens accused of OWI. We analyze, evaluate, interview. We challenge. We demand complete transparency from local law enforcement, and strict and total compliance with the law, with department general orders and standard operating procedures, and with nationally validated regulations. We attend continuing education. We teach continuing education to other lawyers and judges. We give speeches in the community.

Why do we do this?

Here’s why:

Suspension of driver’s license from 90 days to four years.

Restriction of driver’s license use to and from work and school.

Loss of special commercial license endorsements.

Purchase of special (READ expensive) auto insurance.

Installation of Ignition Interlock Device in any vehicle driven or owned.



Community Service.

Electronic monitoring.

Participation in substance use/abuse program.

Participation in driver safety class.

Participation in AA meetings.

Residential Treatment Program.

Probation with terms that could include abstaining from alcohol, staying away from businesses that primarily sell alcohol, restriction on contact with other probationers, and waiver of Fourth Amendment rights.

Strain on marriage and relationships with friends and family.

Paying for criminal defense lawyer or reimbursing government for court-appointed lawyer and payment or reimbursement of other trial-related expenses.

Cancellation of or significant increase in cost of insurance.

Denial of employment, loss of promotion, loss of job.

Suspension from school/delay in graduation/interruption or reduction of student grants or loans.

Revocation/suspension of professional/occupational licenses.

Involuntary separation from military service.


Increase in health problems from stress.

Loss of sleep over anxiety contemplating potential consequences.

Decline in productivity at work due to depression or anxiety.

Modification of family law child custody orders reducing contact with children.

Restrict obtaining special permits, licenses, or benefits that require finding that person has good moral character, such as concealed firearm carry permit, serving as foster parent, or participating in low income food and housing programs.

Restrictions on travel: entry to some foreign countries.

Delay in obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Creation of public record of arrest/conviction, and its disclosure to friends, family and neighbors may cause embarrassment, loss of reputation, denial of participation in youth sports, withdraw of marriage proposals.

Damage to person or property from accident caused by driving while intoxicated with attendant civil liability.

Just to name a few of the consequences that flow from the accusation, arrest, and/or conviction of OWI. A slap on the wrist …. I beg to differ!