On Thursday October 29, Milwaukee Democratic Representative Josh Zepnick was arrested for OWI (operating while intoxicated) after he was pulled over for driving through a red light just before 8:30 p.m. According to news reports, it is Zepnick’s first drunk driving offense.
The state lawmaker told the officer who pulled him over that he had consumed five or six beers at a bar. Zepnick allegedly failed field sobriety tests which he submitted to, however he declined a breath test. According to a news article at the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Zepnick admitted to drinking alcohol. The officer included in the incident report that Zepnick smelled of alcohol, and that his eyes looked as though he had been drinking.
Zepnick’s sister died in 1990 when she was riding her bicycle and was struck by a drunk driver. This is a subject Zepnick discussed in 2009 on the Assembly floor as lawmakers worked to stiffen drunk driving laws. Zepnick was a primary sponsor of a 2009 law signed by then-Governor Jim Doyle.
In a statement released on Friday, Zepnick said that he was embarrassed by his decision to drive under the influence, and that he made a critical mistake for which he was deeply sorry. New reports also indicate he is seeking professional help.
Anyone can make a mistake, regardless of his or her position, celebrity, or standing in society. We all make mistakes; some get caught, others do not. It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol, as the unexpected can happen such as an accident that leaves innocent victims injured or even worse.
However, those who do find themselves facing drunk driving charges should work with an experienced and aggressive attorney. If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Michigan, the penalties if found guilty are harsh and may include jail time, stiff fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, and more. The punishment becomes harsher for repeated DUI offenses.
Regardless of whether it is your first, second, or even a felony third offense DUI, consult with a Michigan DUI attorney at once in order to ensure your legal rights are protected, and that work will begin to protect your freedom.