New Wyoming DUI Laws to Take Effect on July First!
By: Mary Ann Pekara
A couple of months ago, Total DUI detailed a proposed Wyoming DUI law that would bolster the penalties for those convicted of DUI with children in their car. This legislation is one of several bills that have been signed into law and will take effect in just a couple of weeks on July 1st in the state's continued effort to curb drunk driving.
Wyoming Senator Tony Ross of Cheyenne has championed a new law that would protect minors who do not have a voice and are transported in vehicles being driven by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs by bolstering the DUI penalties for such offenses. Specifically, this new Wyoming DUI law would impose up to a year in prison for a first-time DUI offender nabbed with children in his or her car. Repeat offenders would face penalties of up to five years in prison in similar circumstances. Child passengers are defined as anyone under the age of 16 under this new DUI law in Wyoming.
Another piece of Wyoming legislation sponsored by Ross is set to take effect as a new law in less than two weeks. This new Wyoming DUI law will make it illegal to have open containers of alcohol in any moving vehicle. Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank was described in an Associated Press story as calling this new law an important step in continuing the effort to reduce DUI in the state. Crank added that people were more likely to go over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent in Wyoming when being allowed to drive with open containers of alcohol. What took the state so long to get this law on its books?
Another new Wyoming DUI law would give prosecutors the authority to bring a felony charge against any drunken driver who severely injures another person in a drunken driving accident.
Examining Wyoming DUI Figures
The Wyoming Highway Patrol has reported that it issued more than 1,300 citations last year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The WHP also handled 59 crashes involving DUI last year, with 66 people dying in those accidents.
These new Wyoming DUI laws are yet another example of how states are continuing to crack down on DUI and further reveal the importance of being knowledgeable of the laws in your state. While it is illegal to be driving or operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent in all 50 states, the DUI laws in all 50 states are hardly uniform from that point on.