In every state, law enforcement if coming down heavy on individuals who drive while under the influence of alcohol,. Wyoming is no exception. Individuals caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be charged with either a DWUI or a DUI. While the terms may be different, the penalties are the same.
These charges can result in penalties like license suspension, jail time and/or fines. It’s to your advantage to not only become familiar with Wyoming DUI laws but to know your rights as well. This overview of Wyoming DUI laws can make the difference.
What Is the Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit?
The blood alcohol concentration, also known as BAC, is amount of alcohol that’s in the driver’s blood stream. Performed with a breathalyzer test, the BAC is based on the percentage of the blood that is alcohol. The amount of BAC that is considered acceptable or illegal in Wyoming is not the same for all circumstances. Below is the BAC that’s considered illegal for each circumstance.
- 0.08 percent if the driver is 21 years or older.
- 0.02 percent if the driver is under 21 years of age.
- 0.04 percent if the driver has a CDL.
- 0.05 percent for any age if there is supporting evidence.
Even if you do not appear drunk or impaired, you can still be charged if your BAC is above the legal limits. You may also be charged with a DUI in Wyoming if you appear impaired even if your BAC is within the legal requirements.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over?
In Wyoming, like most states, if it appears you may be impaired or breaking some other law, you can be pulled over by law enforcement. The first thing the officer will ask for is proof of your driver’s license, auto insurance and vehicle registration. Because these things are required in Wyoming, you must present the officer with the documentation.
If the officer believes you may have been drinking or are under the influence, you may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, a urine test or a blood test. If you are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, you may choose which test to take. However, you will not have a choice if the officer suspects you’re under the influence of drugs.
Can I Refuse the BAC Test?
Wyoming DUI laws have what is known as the implied consent statute. What this means is that if you are pulled over because you are believed to be driving while under the influence, you must submit to a BAC test. The law also applies if you have physical control of a vehicle even if you weren’t driving. Often, a driver who has been drinking may pull over to the side of the road and attempt to sleep it off. If an officer sees you, smells alcohol and suspects you were drinking, they can test you for a possible DUI. This is because it is assumed or believed that you may wake up and drive while still under the influence.
What Happens If I Refuse It?
You can refuse to take the test, but there will be penalties. Refusal to take the test can result in a license suspension of six months or 18 months if it’s your second or third DUI offense. According to Wyoming DUI laws, the officer is not required to inform you of the possible penalties for refusing to take the test.
Can I Plead “Wet Reckless”?
Many states have what is referred to as the “wet reckless” law. It enables individuals charged with DUI to have the offense changed to a lesser charge such as reckless driving. A wet reckless charge carries fewer penalties and less jail time. However, Wyoming DUI laws restricts prosecutors from lessening the charge in DUI cases. The only circumstance where a DUI charge may be lessened or dropped altogether is if the prosecutor goes on record by telling the judge that there is insufficient evidence to go forward with the case.
What Are the Penalties I Should Expect?
When you’re charged and found guilty of a DUI, you will be faced with both administration and criminal penalties. Your driving record and BAC determines the severity of your penalties as well as if there are other DUI convictions on your driving record. In some cases, the courts may require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle. The IID will not allow your car to start if there is any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
First Offense DUI
With your first DUI offense, you’ll see up to six months in jail, fine of up to $750 and a 90-day license suspension. If your BAC was 0.15 percent or higher, you will be required to have an IID installed for at least six months. Wyoming DUI laws dictate that drivers under the age of 21 can face 90 days in jail for their first offense.
Second Offense DUI
For a the second DUI offense, you may have seven days in jail plus up to six months in jail, fines from $200 to $750, and a one-year license suspension. A nine-month suspension will be added if you are serving an administrative per se suspension. Wyoming DUI laws state that drivers under 21 years old can face six months in jail if it’s the second DUI offense in two years.
Third Offense DUI
For a third DUI offense, the penalties are stricter. You’ll probably get 30 days mandatory time behind bars. In addition, you’ll also be spending six months in jail, fines from $750 to $3,000 and license revocation for three years. Additionally, you will not be eligible for any type of limited driving privileges.
Fourth Offense DUI
If you’re charged with a fourth DUI, you may get up to two years in jail. You’ll also risk $10,000 in fines and a three-year license revocation.
As you can see, the penalties for DUIs in Wyoming are stiff and severe. If you or a family member are facing any kind of a DUI charge, not all may be lost. You may have extenuating circumstances that can help you. One of the most important things is to know your rights and to be well informed of the Wyoming DUI laws. On that note, continue to drink responsibly and always drive safe!