In Wyoming, the penalties you'll face for a DUI conviction generally depend on how many prior convictions you have that occurred within the past 10 years. This article covers Wyoming's DUI laws (including how the offense is defined) and the penalties you'll face for a first, second, third, and felony conviction.
Wyoming's DUI laws forbid a person from driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle:
A driver is considered "under the influence" if deprived of the normal control of his or her bodily or mental faculties. In contrast, a BAC-based DUI (often called a "per se DUI") doesn't require proof of actual impairment. But the volume of alcohol necessary to reach .08% can differ for different people.
A first DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor and generally carries:
If the driver had a BAC of at least .15%, there's also a six-month ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.
A second DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor and generally carries:
A second offense will also result in a one-year IID requirement.
A third DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor and generally carries:
A third offense will also result in a two-year IID requirement.
A DUI can be a felony if the driver has at least three prior convictions within the past 10 years or the current offense involves serious injuries or deaths.
When a driver has three or more prior convictions that occurred within the past ten years, the next DUI (fourth or subsequent) will be a felony.
A fourth or subsequent DUI conviction carries up to $10,000 in fines and a maximum of seven years in prison.
A DUI involving serious bodily injury is a felony and carries $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and a maximum of ten years in prison.
Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence is "aggravated homicide-by-vehicle." A conviction is a felony and carries up to 20 years behind bars.
All persons convicted of DUI must complete a substance abuse assessment. Based on these results, the court can order treatment or sobriety monitoring. In lieu of (or in addition to) the IID requirement, the judge can order participation in the 24/7 sobriety program. This program uses alcohol and drug monitoring systems to ensure around-the-clock sobriety for participants. The judge can also order inpatient treatment for third offenders, who will get up to 15 days of jail credit upon completion.
The judge can place a DUI offender on probation for up to three years.
Every DUI conviction and chemical test failure (a BAC of .08% or more) is reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and will result in a license suspension. However, if a driver receives more than one suspension, they can generally overlap. In other words, the driver won't have to complete both full suspension periods.
Registration. If a driver has two convictions within two years, the DOT will suspend the driver's vehicle registration during the driver's license suspension.
Test failure. If the driver submits to a breath, blood, or urine test and has a BAC of at least .08%, the officer is to immediately seize the driver's license and issue a 30-day temporary license. If the driver wishes to contest the test failure, he or she can submit a request for a hearing within 20 days of the arrest. Otherwise, the DOT will issue a 90-day suspension after the temporary license expires.
Test refusal. Like most states, Wyoming has an "implied consent" law. It states that all drivers are deemed to have given consent to a breath, blood, or urine test. Unlike other states, Wyoming has no penalties for refusing one of these tests. (However, a commercial vehicle operator can receive a one-year suspension for refusing a chemical test.) But officers can request a warrant to obtain a blood sample (by force if necessary) for drivers who refuse testing.
While all drivers with a BAC of .08% can be convicted of DUI, drivers under 21 years old with a BAC of .02% to .08% can be prosecuted for an underage DUI. An underage DUI will not count as a prior DUI offense if the driver is convicted of a normal DUI in the future and is usually expunged after completion of probation.
A first underage DUI violation will result in a $750 fine and a 90-day suspended license. A second offense within a year carries a six-month suspension, a one-year IID restriction, a maximum $750 fine, and up to 30 days in jail. A third offense within two years will result in a six-month license suspension, a two-year interlock restriction, up to six months in jail, and a maximum of $750 in fines.
The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious. So, if you've been stopped for a DUI, you should get in contact with a qualified DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal system.