Wyoming DUI Laws, Penalties, and Defenses
Driving under the influence is a very serious offense in Wyoming and can have substantial penalties.
Even though this is still a frontier, the state has cracked down on drunk driving, so anyone picked up after drinking can expect to face some stiff penalties.
Wyoming DUI laws can have long-lasting consequences. Hiring a Casper DUI defense attorney to advocate for you can be beneficial to the success of your case.
If you have been arrested, you should be aware of the punishments and penalties of a DUI in Wyoming.
A DUI can stay on your driving record for 10 years, and the penalties will continue to increase if you are picked up for a second or third DUI.
Reach out to an experienced Wyoming DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense.
Wyoming DUI/DWI Laws
The Wyoming DUI law can be found at WY Stat. § 31-5-233.
Wyoming law defines DUI as driving or having “actual physical control” of a vehicle when:
- The driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher; or
- The driver is incapable of operating the vehicle safely and is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
As you can see, you can still face DUI charges with a BAC under 0.08% or even if your BAC is unknown, so long as you were not capable of operating the vehicle safely. Therefore, it is important to contact a Wyoming DUI attorney if you face DUI charges. Hiring an attorney provides you with the best opportunity to reduce or eliminate your DUI charges.
Overview of DUI/DWI Penalties under Wyoming Laws
Under Wyoming DUI laws, the severity of your punishment for a DUI offense depends on a number of factors. These factors include:
- The number of prior DUI convictions you have,
- The time frame within which you’ve received DUI convictions,
- The amount of alcohol in your blood,
- Whether someone was hurt as a result of your intoxicated driving, and
- Whether you were driving while intoxicated with a child under 16 in the vehicle.
However, the most important factor under Wyoming DUI laws is the number of prior DUI convictions you might have. A Wyoming DUI lawyer can help you understand whether your punishment is excessive and fight to lower your punishment to an appropriate level.
First DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming
A first DUI offense in Wyoming carries the least severe punishment. For a first-time Wyoming DUI conviction, the punishments you can face include:
- Up to six months in jail,
- Up to a $750 fine, and
- Suspension of your license for 90 days.
In addition, a court may order you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a first offender DUI class. If your BAC was greater than 0.15%, the State of Wyoming can require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle for a period of six months.
If you face charges for a first DUI offense, speak with a Wyoming DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Second DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming
If you face a second Wyoming DUI conviction within 10 years of your first conviction, the punishments you can receive include:
- Seven days to six months in jail,
- A $250 to $750 fine,
- The suspension of your license for up to one year, and
- The installation of an IID on your vehicle for a period of one year.
The State of Wyoming may also require you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a state-approved substance abuse program after a second DUI conviction. A Wyoming DUI attorney can help you potentially reduce your penalties for a second DUI offense.
Third DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming
The penalties for a third DUI conviction within 10 years of your first are severe. Specifically, the punishments for a third Wyoming DUI conviction include:
- Between one and six months in jail,
- A fine of at least $750 to $3,000,
- The suspension of your license for up to three years, and
- The installation of an IID on your vehicle for a period of two years.
A court may also order you to complete a state-approved substance abuse treatment program after a third DUI conviction. Due to the severity of a third DUI conviction in 10 years, it is essential that you speak with a DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Fourth DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming
The punishments for a fourth or more DUI conviction within 10 years are extremely harsh. The State of Wyoming considers a fourth DUI conviction a felony, and as a result, it carries much stricter penalties. These penalties include:
- Up to two years in prison,
- Up to a $10,000 fine,
- The suspension of your license, and
- The installation of an IID for the remainder of your life.
The duration of your license suspension will vary depending on the facts of your case. The State of Wyoming will also require you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a state-approved substance abuse treatment program.
No matter how many prior DUI convictions you may have, speaking with a DUI attorney gives you the best chance of potentially reducing or eliminating your DUI charges.
Like other states, Wyoming DUI Laws increase the punishment where certain aggravating factors are involved. In Wyoming, these aggravating factors include:
- Whether your BAC was very high (0.15% or higher),
- Whether you hurt someone in an accident while driving under the influence, and
- Whether you had someone under age 16 in the car with you.
Any of the above is an aggravating factor that will increase the penalties you suffer. If you believe any of these aggravating factors apply to your case, you should speak with a Wyoming DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
In addition to the punishments discussed above, a court may sentence you to probation for a DUI conviction. Probation can be sentenced instead of or in addition to jail time, fines, and other penalties. In Wyoming DUI cases, probation usually lasts for a maximum of three years.
Probation means that you are put under supervision for a period of time and are subject to certain conditions. Conditions relating to DUI could include attendance and completion of an alcohol abuse treatment program.
In addition to jail time and fines, a DUI conviction has other consequences that can negatively affect other aspects of your life.
A DUI conviction can make it harder for you to obtain a driver license in the future. This can make it more difficult to get to your current job or even find a new job if you don’t have other forms of transportation available to you.
A DUI can also have a substantial impact on your future if you were underage at the time you received a DUI or hold a commercial driver license (CDL). A DUI conviction can also raise your car insurance rates, which can be detrimental to your financial well-being.
If you face a DUI conviction, you should speak with a Wyoming DUI attorney who can help you understand the consequences a DUI conviction can have on your life.
HOW A WYOMING DUI/DWI ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU
It is important to realize that an arrest is not a conviction, and you might have defenses no matter how dire things look immediately after getting picked up. A skilled, experienced Wyoming DUI attorney can raise all applicable defenses to your case to give you the best chance at reducing or eliminating your DUI charges.
For example, an attorney might be able to fight your case by arguing that:
- The officer had no probable cause to stop you, so your arrest is unconstitutional;
- The officer did not calibrate the breathalyzer properly;
- The field sobriety test was not accurate;
- You did not voluntarily consume alcohol;
- You reasonably believed that a prescription medication had worn off;
- There is insufficient evidence to show you could not operate a vehicle safely; or
- You operated the vehicle under the influence to prevent something worse from happening.
To have the best chance of a successful defense argument, it is essential that you hire a DUI lawyer soon after being charged. A lawyer can investigate the facts of your case to develop the best defense strategy possible.
Jeremy Hugus and his team at Cowboy Country criminal defense will strive to build the best possible defense based on the facts of your case. We understand the severity of a DUI charge and the effect that it can have on the rest of your life. We know how seriously the State of Wyoming takes DUI, and we will fight to get you the best possible result.
To get started on your DUI defense, please contact us at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today for your free consultation.