Wisconsin OWI Sentencing Guidelines

Wisconsin OWI Penalty

The maximum and minimum penalties for OWI charges are described in detail in the Wisconsin DUI Sentencing Guidelines. The prosecuting attorney and judge use these guidelines as a reference when determining the appropriate penalties for a particular case. These penalties include jail time, fines, installation of IIDs, license suspension, and more. However, every case is different and that means that the facts and circumstances of each case have to be considered before a sentence is determined. Judges have discretion over evaluating every detail of each case and choosing the appropriate penalties for them. You need a skilled OWI lawyer that can aggressively present your case in court and have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Penalties Vary Depending On County

Where you are charged with OWI in Wisconsin can make a difference as far as penalties are concerned. Each county has a circuit court that is grouped into ten judicial districts, and each of these districts has its own OWI Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines are on Wisconsin OWI laws. Another important point is that each county has its own sets of rules and policies for OWI cases. That means that penalties for the same OWI offense in one county can be less severe than those in another county.

Factors That Can Work In Your Favor In Court

Wisconsin OWI Sentencing GuidelinesFactors that work positively in your favor as far as sentencing is concerned are known as mitigating factors. Some mitigating factors include:

  • A low alcohol concentration during your arrest
  • A driving record with low demerit points
  • Cooperating with the arresting officer
  • Good driving during the current conviction
  • Seeking treatment for alcohol dependency before sentencing

Whether you had a prior arrest for an OWI or not, these mitigating factors can greatly influence the judges sentencing. Contact a WI criminal defense attorney for more info.

Factors That Can Lead To Harsher Penalties

Factors that can influence OWI sentencing negatively are called aggravating or hurtful factors. They include things such as:

  • Driving without a proper driver’s license
  • High blood alcohol concentration of .17% or higher
  • You were driving recklessly at the time you were pulled over
  • Refusing the breathalyzer test and the blood test
  • A passenger under the age 16 and younger was with you in the vehicle during the OWI arrest
  • It was an OWI with serious or fatal injuries
  • You have multiple OWI convictions

Not seeking counseling or alcohol assessment or other treatments before the sentencing may make the judge think you don’t regret the charges against you. That could lead to even harsher sentences. Another point is that the higher the alcohol concentration in your blood, the more the minimum and maximum fines increase.

Having Multiple Drunk Driving Convictions

People with multiple drunk driving convictions face harsher penalties for every subsequent conviction. For example, a first, second and third OWI offense is considered a misdemeanor but a fourth offense is considered a felony. But even for a fourth conviction there is sentencing for mitigated, intermediate, and aggravated offenses. A mitigated fourth OWI offense comes with a fine of up to $1200, but an aggravated fourth offense comes with a fine of up to $2,000. The jail times, driver’s license suspension or revocation periods, and other penalties also differ.

You may also be interested in…

  1. Reckless Driving Penalties In Wisconsin
  2. Wisconsin First Offense OWI
  3. Wisconsin OWI Penalties

Wisconsin OWI FAQ

What's the average jail time for DUI in Wisconsin?

A BAC of 0.08% qualifies for OWI in Wisconsin. However, jail time will depend on several factors. 1st Offense OWI may not include any jail time, whereas, a 2nd OWI may result in 5-6 days jail time.

Will the court appoint me a lawyer if I'm charged with OWI?

It's possible. Generally speaking...if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. Call our office for a consultation.