Penalties for a Wisconsin OWI

Drunk Driving

You could face an OWI charge in Wisconsin if you have a blood alcohol level of .08 or over. “OWI” stands for “operating while intoxicated”. These charges can carry serious penalties. 

First and Subsequent OWIs in Wisconsin

OWI cases are not prosecuted lightly in Wisconsin. Penalties that are issued vary, according to your number of offenses, and other factors that may be present.  

Penalties continue to increase for habitual offenders. Here are the required consequences:

  • First offense – $150-$300 fine, court costs, 6-9 month license revocation, IID or sobriety program for a year if BAC over 0.15.
  • Second offense more than 10 years after first offense – $150-300 fine, court costs, 6 to 9 month revocation, IID or sobriety program for a year.
  • Second offense within 10 years of first offense OR first offense involving bodily harm or homicide) – $350-1,100 fine, 5 day to 6 months jail time, 12 to 18 month plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program for 12 to 18 months plus confinement length.
  • Third offense – $600 to $2000 fine, 45 days to 1 year jail time, 2 to 3 year plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program 1 to 3 years plus confinement length.
  • Fourth offense – $600 to $10,000 fine, 60 day to 6 years jail time, 2 to 3 year plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program 1 to 3 years plus confinement length.
  • Fifth or sixth offense – $600 to $25,000 fine, 1 to 10 years jail time, 2 to 3 year plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program 1 to 3 years plus confinement length.
  • Seventh, eighth, or ninth offense – Up to $25,000 fine, 3 to 12.5 year jail time, 2 to 3 year plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program 1 to 3 years plus confinement length.
  • Tenth or subsequent offense – Up to $50,000 fine, 4 to 15 year jail time, 2 to 3 year plus confinement length revocation, IID or sobriety program 1 to 3 years plus confinement length.

Note that for fourth offenses and up, an OWI is a felony charge. 

Minor in the Vehicle

As in many states, Wisconsin considers having a child 16 or under in the vehicle to be an aggravating factor. This can result in increased fines and time in jail, even for a first offense. This factor could also increase the length of a license revocation.

Other aggravating factors include causing injury to others, refusing a chemical test, or if the accident is fatal. 

If you face Wisconsin OWI charges, consequences issued could change your life. A conviction will impact your freedom, reputation and ability to earn a living. Guidance of experienced legal counsel throughout your case could mean the difference between a conviction, and dismissal of charges. Contact Brophy Law Office to find out how we can help you fight your charges. We have an extensive track record of obtaining optimal results for our clients. 

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