A DUI is considered a first offense in Wyoming if the driver has no prior offenses within the last ten years. A motorist can be convicted of DUI if driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle:
In other words, a DUI can be based on BAC (a “per se” DUI) or actual impairment.
A first-offense DUI is typically a misdemeanor. A conviction carries up to $750 in fines and a maximum of six months in jail, but work-release in lieu of time in jail may be possible. Prior to sentencing, the offender must complete an alcohol and drug evaluation, which the judge will consider in issuing the penalties.
The court can suspend part of the jail sentence and place the offender on up to three years of probation. Probation conditions often include sobriety monitoring.
A driver who had a BAC of at least .15% will be required to maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months. This device prevents the operation of the vehicle if the driver has consumed alcohol. The court can also (or alternatively) order the offender to participate in the 24/7 sobriety monitoring program. This program uses monitoring systems such as random testing, ankle monitors, and drug patches to ensure the participants maintain sobriety.
Depending on the circumstances, a DUI can lead to two separate 90-day license suspensions: one for a test failure and one for the DUI conviction. However, these periods normally run concurrently.
Test failure. At the time of arrest, the officer will typically request the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test. If the test results show a BAC of .08% or more, the officer is to immediately seize the driver’s license and issue a 30-day temporary license. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will suspend the driver’s license for 90 days after the temporary license expires, unless the driver requests an administrative hearing to contest the suspension. Requesting a hearing doesn’t eliminate the possibility of suspension (if the driver loses the hearing, the DOT will still impose the suspension), but will normally change the timeline of when the suspension occurs.
Conviction. The court reports all DUI convictions to the DOT. For a first DUI conviction, the DOT will suspend the driver’s license for 90 days unless already suspended due to test failure.
Probationary license. A suspended driver can immediately apply for a probationary license if the driver has no prior DUI offenses within the last five years.
Restricted license. Drivers not eligible for the probationary license can still apply for a restricted license (there’s a $125 fee for the application). A restricted license authorizes travel to and from work and school but only with an IID.
First offenders with no prior felonies can apply for a DUI diversion agreement. The agreement typically involves fines and use of alcohol monitoring, but can also result in the complete dismissal of the DUI charge.