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What Are the Legal Repercussions of Drunk Driving in Wisconsin?

There are no two ways about it. Driving while under the influence is a bad decision. Not only is it incredibly dangerous to the driver and those in his or her proximity, but it also carries some fairly severe legal consequences.

Nonetheless, people continue to drive drunk. Perhaps you’ve even driven while under the influence? Maybe you’re facing legal consequences as a result of doing so?

If so, you’d probably like to know what’s ahead of you. These are the legal consequences of drunk driving in Wisconsin. 

What Are the Intoxication Limits for an OWI in Wisconsin?

Every state has a slightly different definition of what constitutes an OWI. Like many states, Wisconsin’s limit for alcohol consumption while operating a vehicle is a 0.08% BAC. This is for drivers of 21 years of age and older. If you’re at this BAC or higher while driving, you are eligible for an OWI charge.

Those who are intoxicated while driving, and who are under the age of 21 have a BAC limit of 0.02%. Of course, those who are intoxicated under the age of 21 are also breaking laws against underage drinking. They will receive penalties for both offenses.

If you’re operating a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is 0.04%.

What are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Wisconsin?

1st Time

First time OWI offenders are not eligible for jail time unless, of course, they injure someone. They are, however, subject to fines of between $150 and $300.

In addition to fines, first-time offenders can also have their licenses suspended for between 6 and 9 months. However, they may also be allowed to apply for occupational driver’s licenses.

2nd Time

In the state of Wisconsin, OWIs are legally retained on a person’s record for 10 years. So, if a person acquires another OWI within 10 years of their last, they will be subject to even harsher penalties.

A second-time offender of the law can receive jail time from anywhere between 5 days and 6 months. In addition, second-time offenders can also be forced to pay fines between $300 and $1100.

As far as license suspension goes, second-time offenders can lose their licenses for between 12 and 18 months. Again, they may be able to secure occupational driver’s licenses during this time.

Also, second-time offenders will have their automobiles fixed with ignition interlocking devices. These devices are breathalyzers which require the driver to blow into them to ensure that he or she is not driving under the influence.

3rd Time

Third-time offenders of OWI laws in Wisconsin will receive even harsher penalties, being subjected to anywhere between 30 days to a year in prison. In addition, they can be required to pay fines between $600 and $2,000.

License suspension time for a third-time offender can range anywhere from 2 years to 3 years. Again, there is a possibility that a third-time offender will be able to secure an occupational license.

Like with second-time offenders, third-time offenders will have ignition interlocking devices installed in their vehicles.

Breaking OWI laws more than three times in Wisconsin won’t result in longer suspension times, but will in longer prison terms.

Fighting an OWI in the State of Wisconsin?

Have you been charged with drunk driving in Wisconsin? If so, you’re facing some fairly stiff penalties. In order to give yourself a fighting chance against these penalties, you’re going to need a top-notch legal defense on your side.

If you live in the Milwaukee area, Hartley Pecora is just the legal defense you’re looking for. Our team of attorneys has fought against many OWI charges, and knows exactly which measures must be taken in order to give defendants a fair shake.

Contact us today for a free consultation!