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Wisconsin OWI Offenses & Penalties

Notice: Wisconsin Laws Changed 12/1/2018

As of December 1, 2018, the penalties for OWI and related alcohol and drug offenses have changed. The most laws are provided below.

Wisconsin OWI Offenses

Changes In Wisconsin OWI Laws

As of December 1, 2018, the penalties for OWI and related alcohol and drug offenses have changed. For all violations after December 1, 2018, all fourth offense drunk driving convictions result in lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Defendants may apply for an occupational license after 10 years.

OWI 1st Offense Penalties

OWI 1st Fines Or Forfeitures

A conviction for a first drunken driving offense (OWI 1st) will result in fines or forfeitures of $150 to $300, plus a $435 surcharge and other surcharges.

OWI 1st NO Jail time

You won’t have to serve any jail time on a first offense in Wisconsin unless there were children under age 16 in the car.

OWI 1st Revocation of Driving Privileges

The state revokes the driving privileges of people convicted of an OWI 1st offense for six to nine months.

OWI 1st Additional Penalties

If your blood alcohol content was .15 or higher, you may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) for one year.

OWI 1st Occupational License

You may immediately apply for an Occupational License, but certain restrictions apply, such as a limit of 0.02 PAC (permitted alcohol content) level.

OWI 1st With A Child Under 16 Yrs In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a child under age 16 in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI first offense, it is treated as a criminal second drunk driving offense. Fines increase to $350 to $1,100. Mandatory jail time increases to a minimum of five days and up to six months. Wisconsin Department of Transportation will revoke your driving privileges for a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of 18 months plus the length of the jail sentence. Fines, driving revocations, and jail guidelines amounts double from second offense guidelines.

OWI 2nd Offense

OWI 2nd Fines Or Forfeitures

The fine or forfeiture for an OWI 2nd conviction is $300 to $1,100, plus a surcharge of $1,100 to $1,300. Other surcharges may also apply.

OWI 2nd Jail time

For an OWI 2nd offense conviction, jail time is mandatory. The Court must sentence you to a minimum of five days jail time up to a maximum of six months.
In some counties, a ‘Safe Streets’ option exists for a jail time sentence of five to seven days. You should ask Attorney Rudolph about the safe streets option, which may stay (hold over your head) some jail time in exchange for a year long program of forced supervised sobriety. 

OWI 2nd Revocation of Driving Privileges & Additional Penalties

For an OWI 2nd offense conviction, the state revokes driving privileges for twelve to eighteen months.
On second offenses, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is required and will be ordered for a minimum of one year up to 18 months plus the length of the jail time.

OWI 2nd Occupational License

The law provides that YOU may immediately apply for an occupational license upon the administrative suspension of driving privileges by the DOT. Proof of high risk insurance, SR-22, and absolute sobriety are required. The ignition interlock device is not required for the administrative suspension occupational.
The administrative suspension may occur before the court date. You may drive on the occupational license until convicted by the Court. Upon conviction by the Court, the defendant may obtain an occupational license only after 45 days from conviction. That occupational license after conviction will require an ignition interlock device (IID) and high-risk SR-22 insurance.

OWI 2nd With A Child Under 16 Years In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a child under 16 years in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI 2nd offense, the fine increases to a minimum of $700 and a maximum of $2,200. Jail time increases to a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 12 months. Revocation and ignition interlock device (IID) requirements increase to a maximum length of two to three years plus the length of confinement. 

OWI 3rd Offense Conviction Penalties

OWI 3rd Fines Or Forfeitures

A conviction for a OWI 3rd offense will result in a minimum fine of $600 up to a maximum fine of $2,000, plus OWI surcharges of $1,144 to $1,580. If your blood alcohol level is excessive, the law provides an escalator to the penalties. The minimum and maximum fine is double for a blood result of .17 to .199, triple for blood alcohol of .2 to .249, and quadrupled for blood alcohol levels of .25 and above.

OWI 3rd Jail time

An OWI third offense conviction carries a jail sentence of a minimum of 45 days up to a maximum of one year. The law provides a ‘Safe Street’ option in some counties, which can reduce the minimum jail sentence to 14 days up to a maximum jail sentence of one year.

OWI 3rd Revocation of Driving Privileges

The penalties for an OWI 3rd offense conviction include revocation of your driving privileges for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 3rd Additional Penalties

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an ignition interlock device (IID) for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 3rd Occupational License

You may apply for an occupational license after 45 days. Absolute sobriety is required.  

OWI 3rd With A Child Under 16 Years In The Vehicle Is A FELONY

If you were driving with a child under the age of 16 years in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI, the fine is increased to a minimum of $1,200 up to a maximum of $4,000. Jail time is increased to a minimum of 90 days up to a maximum of two years. Driving privileges revocation and IID requirements are increased to a maximum length of four to six years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 4th Offense Conviction Penalties

OWI 4th Fines Or Forfeitures

A conviction for an OWI 4th offense will result in a minimum fine of $600 up to a maximum fine of $10,000, plus a $435 OWI surcharge. If your blood alcohol level is excessive, the law provides an escalator to the penalties: double the fines for blood alcohol levels of .17 to .199, triple the fines for blood alcohol levels of .20 to .249, and quadruple the fine for blood alcohol levels of .25 and above.

OWI 4th Jail time

An OWI fourth offense is a Class H Felony, which carries a jail sentence of a minimum of 60 days up to a maximum of six years.
The law provides a ‘Safe Street’ option in some counties, which results in a minimum jail sentence of 29 days up to a maximum jail sentence of six years. You should ask Attorney Rudolph about this option.

OWI 4th Driver's Privilege Revocation

The penalties for an OWI fourth offense conviction include revocation of your driving privileges for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 4th Additional Penalties

For a fourth drunken driving offense, Wisconsin law requires an ignition interlock device (IID) for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 4th With A Child Under 16 Years In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI, the fine increases to a minimum of $1,200 up to a maximum of $20,000. Prison time increases to a minimum of 120 days up to a maximum of twelve years. Any sentence of incarceration to a year and a day must be served in prison. Driving privileges revocation and IID requirements increase to a maximum length of four to six years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 5th or 6th Offense Conviction Penalties

OWI 5th or 6th Fines or Forfeitures

A conviction for an OWI 5th or 6th offense will result in a minimum fine of $600 up to a maximum fine of $25,000, plus OWI surcharges of $1,144 to $1,580. If your blood alcohol level is excessive, the law provides escalators to the penalties.

OWI 5th or 6th Jail time

An OWI fourth offense is a Class G Felony, which carries a jail sentence of a minimum of six months up to a maximum of 10 years. Any sentence over one year of incarceration must be served in prison.

OWI 5th or 6th Driving Privileges Revocation

Lifetime revocation.

OWI 5th or 6th Additional Penalties

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an IID for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 5th or 6th Occupational License

An occupational license may be applied for after 10 years. 

OWI 5th or 6th With A Child Under 16 Years In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a child under 16 years in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI, the fine is increased to a minimum of $1,200 up to a maximum of $50,000. Prison time increases to a minimum of one year up to a maximum of twenty years.

OWI 7th, 8th, or 9th Offense Conviction Penalties

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Fines or Forfeitures

A conviction for an OWI 7th, 8th or 9th offense will result in a fine of up to $25,000, plus a $435 OWI surcharge.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Jail time

OWI fourth offense and above are Felony offenses, which carry increasingly stiffer sentences starting with a three year and up to five years imprisonment.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Driving Privileges

Lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Prison terms of minimum of 3 years up to seven years and six months. Forfeitures start at $1,100.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th With A Child Under 16 Years In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a minor in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI, the fine increases up to a maximum of $50,000. Jail time increases to a minimum of six years up to a maximum of twenty-five years.

Ignition Interlock Device

An ignition interlock device is required on a first offense if the blood alcohol content is above a .15, and is required on every subsequent offense.

Things you need to know about an ignition interlock device:

  • No person with an ignition interlock device order may drive any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device installed. Doing so is a crime.
  • Ignition interlocks are temporarily installed on every vehicle titled in the defendants name and cannot be removed by the defendant.
  • The defendant must blow to start the car. The device may go off and require the defendant to blow again while the vehicle is moving as often as every five minutes. Some devices require blowing and humming.
  • Ignition interlocks are required to be brought in to the installer on a monthly basis and a monthly maintenance fee must be paid. There are installation and removal fees.

Contact Rudolph Law Today!

For a free initial consultation with a DUI defense lawyer you can trust, call Attorney Mike Rudolph today at 920-730-8533.

If you have been arrested on a drunk driving or drug offense, you can't wait to do something. Act now!

Contact Rudolph Law Today!

Call 920-730-8533