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Wisconsin OWI Offenses & Penalties

Changes In Wisconsin OWI Laws

As of December 1, 2018, the penalties for OWI and related alcohol and drug offenses have changed.

OWI 1st Offense Penalties

OWI 1st Fines Or Forfeitures

A conviction for a first operating while intoxicated offense (OWI 1st) will result in fines or forfeitures of $150 to $300, plus a $435 surcharge.

OWI 1st Jail time

Chances are you won’t have to serve any jail time, unless you refuse the sobriety test.

OWI 1st Drivers License Revocation

The state revokes the driver’s licenses of people convicted of an OWI 1st offense for six to nine months.

OWI 1st Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

If your blood alcohol content was .15 or higher, you may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device or undergo a 24/7 sobriety program; either of those may be required for up to one year.

OWI 1st Occupational License

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

OWI 1st With A Minor In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a minor in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI first offense, the penalties increase. Fines increase to $350 to $1,100. Possible jail time increases to a minimum of five days and up to six months. Wisconsin Department of Transportation will revoke your drives license for a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of 18 months plus the length of the jail sentence.

OWI 2nd Offense Conviction Penalties

Penalties for OWI 2nd offense convictions increase if you have certain prior convictions, referred to as ‘Priors’.  Those prior convictions are: 1) a conviction for an OWI at any time over the past 10 years, 2) a conviction for a Great Bodily Harm offense at any time in your lifetime, or 3) a conviction for Homicide by Intoxicated Use offense at any time in your lifetime. Any one of those three prior convictions will result in increased penalties.

OWI 2nd Fines Or Forfeitures

The fine or forfeiture for an OWI 2nd conviction is $150 to $300, plus a $435 OWI surcharge, with no priors.
With one or more of the priors, the fine increases to a minimum of $350 up to a maximum of $1,100, plus a $435 OWI surcharge.

OWI 2nd Jail time

For an OWI 2nd offense conviction, without priors, no jail time is required. Note that you may have to serve jail time if you refuse to submit to a sobriety test.
With one or more of the priors, the Court may sentence you to a minimum of 5 days jail time up to a maximum of six months. A ‘Safe Streets’ option exists for a jail time sentence of five to seven days. You should ask your attorney about this option. 

OWI 2nd Drivers License Revocation

For an OWI 2nd offense conviction, without priors, the state revokes a driver’s license for six to nine months. Additionally, an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one year is required.
With one or more of the priors, the state revokes a person’s license for a minimum of 12 months up to a maximum of 18 months plus the length of jail time. Additionally, an IID or 24/7 sobriety program is required, and may be ordered for a minimum of one year up to 18 months plus the length of jail time.

OWI 2nd Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

Wisconsin laws require Courts to order IID’s for all OWI second offense convictions.
Without priors, the Court will require an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one year.
With priors, the Court will require an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for at least one year, and can extend that time to 18 months plus the length of confinement.

OWI 2nd Occupational License

Without priors, the law provides that you may immediately apply for an occupational driver’s license; absolute sobriety is required.
With priors, the law allows you to apply for an occupational license after 45 days; absolute sobriety is required. 

OWI 2nd With A Minor In The Vehicle

Without priors, if you were driving with a minor in the vehicle with you when arrested for the OWI 2nd offense, the fine increases to a minimum of $350, up to a maximum of $1,100. Jail time increases to a minimum of five days up to six months. Driver’s license revocation and IID requirements increase to a maximum length of 12 to 18 months plus length of jail time.    
With priors, if you were driving with a minor 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 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 a $435 OWI surcharge. If your blood alcohol level is excessive, the law provides an escalator to the penalties.

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, which results in a minimum jail sentence of 14 days up to a maximum jail sentence of one year.

OWI 3rd Drivers License Revocation

The penalties for an OWI 3rd offense conviction include revocation of your driver’s license for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 3rd Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 3rd Occupational License

An occupational license may be applied for after 45 days. Absolute sobriety is required.  

OWI 3rd With A Minor In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a minor 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. Driver’s license 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.

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, which results in a minimum jail sentence of 29 days up to a maximum jail sentence of six years.

OWI 4th Drivers License Revocation

The penalties for an OWI fourth offense conviction include revocation of your driver’s license for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 4th Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 4th Occupational License

An occupational license may be applied for after 45 days. Absolute sobriety is required. 

OWI 4th With A Minor In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a minor 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. Jail time increases to a minimum of 120 days up to a maximum of twelve years. Driver’s license 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 a $435 OWI surcharge. If your blood alcohol level is excessive, the law provides an escalator 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.

OWI 5th or 6th Drivers License Revocation

The penalties for an OWI fourth offense conviction include revocation of your driver’s license for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 5th or 6th Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 5th or 6th Occupational License

An occupational license may be applied for after 45 days. Absolute sobriety is required. 

OWI 5th or 6th With A Minor In The Vehicle

If you were driving with a minor 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. Jail time increases to a minimum of one year up to a maximum of twenty years. Driver’s license revocation and IID requirements increase to a maximum length of four to six years plus the length of confinement.

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

An OWI fourth offense is a Class F Felony, which carries a jail sentence of a minimum of three years up to a maximum of 12.5 years.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Drivers License Revocation

The penalties for an OWI fourth offense conviction include revocation of your driver’s license for two to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Additional Penalties - IID, 24/7 Sobriety Program

Wisconsin law requires the Court order an IID or 24/7 sobriety program for one to three years plus the length of confinement.

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th Occupational License

An occupational license may be applied for after 45 days. Absolute sobriety is required. 

OWI 7th, 8th or 9th With A Minor 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. Driver’s license revocation and IID requirements increase to a maximum length of four to six years plus the length of confinement.

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.

Contact Rudolph Law Today!

Call 920-730-8533


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