Updated on January 19th, 2024 at 07:31 pm

Updated on January 19th, 2024 at 07:31 pm

Jury finds local bar owner not guilty

The client, in this case, had recently opened a new bar in Cudahy, WI. During a busy night, the client ran to a local grocery store to pick up additional bar supplies. After exiting the store, the client drank inside her vehicle and fell asleep from exhaustion. The police arrived and arrested the client for drunk driving.

At trial, we demonstrated that the client never “operated” the motor vehicle while impaired, as she had consumed the alcohol after arriving at the grocery store.

Case overview

Client details

This was a second offense case. The client was a young business owner who recently opened a tavern in Cudahy, WI.

Arrest details

Incident Location: City of Cudahy, Milwaukee County, WI
Duration: The case took approximately a year to resolve.
Previous Convictions: Yes – this is a 2nd offense OWI
Lead Attorney: Attorney Dan Skarie
Prosecution: Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office
Jurisdiction: Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): .12 BAC
Field Sobriety Tests: This defense did not focus on the SFSTs. We conceded that the client was impaired when she was put through tests. Our defense was that the alcohol was consumed in the parking lot after driving and, therefore, did not impair the client when she operated her vehicle.
Outcome: The jury found the client not guilty of both counts – OWI 2nd Offense and PAC 2nd Offense


Challenges faced:

The specific challenge in this case is that the State could not prove that the client consumed alcohol prior to operating the motor vehicle. The client had a receipt for alcohol purchased from the store, as well as an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. Second, the State could not prove that the client “operated” the motor vehicle.

Operation requires that the client exercised control over the vehicle (steering wheel, gear shifter, pedals, etc.) while intoxicated. Even though the car was on when the police arrived, the client never touched or operated the vehicle’s controls while impaired.

OWI defense strategy details

The defense strategy revolved around the importance, in this case, of really knowing the client and telling her story. We informed the jury how the couple had recently purchased the bar, were struggling for business, working long hours, and under a great deal of stress.

It was important to emphasize why someone would drink in a parking lot rather than return to the bar. The client and her husband had an argument before the client left. While in the parking lot, the client’s anxiety about her and her husband’s relationship, the finances of the bar, and the totality of the situation caught up with her, and she fell asleep after having a few drinks to calm her nerves.

✓ Outcome: Not guilty owi & pac 2nd offense


The jury found the client not guilty of both Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) 2nd offense. This was a huge win for the defense, as it was a second offense case where the State could not prove that the client consumed alcohol prior to operating the motor vehicle.

What benefits can clients expect when they choose your firm for owi defense?

We will do everything in our power to have your case dismissed, or you found not guilty at trial. If we can’t do that, we will minimize the consequences as much as possible. We will always be available to answer questions and provide guidance.

What are some common challenges that clients face in wisconsin owi cases?

The days of amending to non-OWI violations, letting someone drive home, or cutting deals in OWI cases are done. These are cases that, if the client wants to go away, need to be litigated.

What is your firm’s approach to handling the obstacles posed by wisconsin’s owi regulations?

The only way to achieve these goals is to be constantly learning and sharpening your skills in court. Prosecutors do not make deals, and Judges do not respect attorneys who never file motions, try cases, or zealously advocate for their clients.

Law firm’s benefits & services

  • Constant communication.
  • Knowledge of the law.
  • Knowledge of the proclivities of judges and prosecutors
  • Willingness to file motions, try cases, and advocate for the client.
  • Honest, no-nonsense analysis of the case.
  • I care about the clients. More than a retainer fee.

Choose Dan Skarie as your representative!

Attorney Dan Skarie is recognized as one of Wisconsin’s top OWI defense attorneys.

For the best defense, it is recommended to contact Attorney Dan Skarie. Protecting your freedom and reputation during this challenging time is important, and seeking guidance from a knowledgeable professional can be helpful.

Take the first step towards safeguarding your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.



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