Wisconsin OWI Penalties
Wisconsin OWI Penalties
You should avoid any OWI conviction in Wisconsin because even a first offense carries severe charges. The penalties also vary in severity depending on the county. Every OWI offense has its minimum and maximum penalties but it is up to the judge to decide the penalties an individual faces for a specific case. There are a number of penalties for each OWI case, and each of these penalties can become more severe depending on your OWI charge.
Penalties For A First OWI Offense
People charged with a first offense in Wisconsin face the following penalties:
- A fine of $150-$300 and court costs
- No jail time unless you had a passenger under 16 years of age at the time of your arrest
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device if you have a BAC of .15% or higher
- Your license will be revoked for 6 to 9 months
- You will be required to complete an alcohol or drug assessment
- You get 6 demerit points added to your record depending on your charges
See also…Sentencing Guidelines
You can apply for an occupational license hours after you license has been suspended. But you may have to wait longer to apply if your BAC level was .15% or higher at the time of your arrest.
Penalties For A Second OWI Offense
If you have one prior OWI conviction in your record, you will be charged with a second offense OWI if arrested for the same offense a second time. Penalties for a second offense include:
- You may have to pay a fine of $350-$1,100
- Jail time of 5 days to 6 months
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- A possible license revocation lasting 18 months
- You have to wait 45 days to apply for an occupational driver’s license
- Six points will be added to your record
Third Offense Penalties
Normally, a third OWI offense is considered a misdemeanour is Wisconsin, but it can easily become a felony depending on the circumstance of your case. The penalties for a third offense include:
- A fine of $600-$4,000
- You face a 45 day to 2 years confinement in jail
- You can only apply for an occupational license after 45 days
- You must complete an alcohol assessment
- 6 points will be added to your record
Remember that the points added to your record for traffic violations can quickly accumulate to 12 or more within 12 months. If your points add up to 12 or more within 12 months, your license will get suspended.
Fourth Offense Penalties
A fourth offense OWI is a felony. The following are the penalties for a fourth offense:
- Fines increase to $10,000
- License revocation for 3 years
- A jail time of 60 days to 6 years
- A drug and alcohol assessment is required
For a fifth, sixth and subsequent OWI/DUI convictions, the fines and jail time increase significantly.
Refusing To Take The Test
You are allowed to refuse a BAC test when you are pulled over by a police officer. However, a refusal automatically leads to a license suspension. You have to wait for about a month to apply for the license is reinstated once it is suspended. The number of days you have to wait to apply is determined by the severity of your charges you face.