• Dan Skarie

OWI 1st Offense Pleasant Prairie Municipal Court Reduced to Reckless Driving

Updated: Mar 12

This case involved an Illinois resident driving home from their job in Wisconsin. The client had a drink with co-workers at the restaurant she worked at after her shift ended. After her arrest in Pleasant Prairie, the client contacted me shortly after concerned about her driver's license and job.

Illinois driver’s license holders face severe consequences in their home state if convicted of drunk driving in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, anyone eligible for an occupational license is typically able to obtain the occupational license in a few hours. In Illinois, the Secretary of State, requires that the offender prove a hardship exists, provide a current professional alcohol/drug evaluation and, when appropriate, provide proof of remedial education or treatment to obtain a Restricted Driver's Permit (RDP). In addition, the offender must appear before a hearing officer in the Secretary of State's Department of Administrative Hearings. The driving record is reviewed to ensure that the driver would not threaten public safety if allowed to drive on a limited basis. An RDP license is by no means a guarantee.

Litigation started in Pleasant Prairie Municipal Court, with the ultimate intent to move the case to Racine County Circuit Court, so that the facts could be presented to a jury. After a lengthy municipal court trial, the client was found guilty of OWI. However, we were able to establish several flaws in the prosecution’s case that a jury would find problematic. Rather than re-litigate the case in circuit court, the prosecution offered to amend the case to reckless driving. Client was very happy and was able to continue driving in Illinois.

Litigation started in Pleasant Prairie Municipal Court, with the ultimate intent to move the case to circuit court, so that the facts could be presented to a jury. After a lengthy municipal court trial, the client was found guilty of OWI. However, we were able to establish several flaws in the prosecution’s case that a jury would find problematic. Rather than re-litigate the case in circuit court, the prosecution offered to amend the case to reckless driving. Client was very happy and was able to continue driving in Illinois.

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