Consequences of a First-Time OWI in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a reputation as a state where beer flows freely. While that may be true in one sense, the reality is that law enforcement in Wisconsin is cracking down on drunk driving.

There are heavy penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated — for repeat and first-time offenders. 

Penalties for an OWI

Penalties for a first-time OWI conviction in Wisconsin may include:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • A fine of up to $300
  • Additional OWI surcharges
  • An ignition interlock device
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug assessment
  • Higher insurance rates and SR22 verification if given high-risk driver status

The consequences of a conviction may vary depending on your BAC level at the time of the offense. Other factors that can affect the type of charge and the possible penalties include whether a child was present in the vehicle, whether another illegal substance was present, or whether anyone in the vehicle is accused of underage drinking.

An OWI conviction could also have a lasting effect on your future. A conviction may prevent you from being employed in particular industries, and an OWI could affect your financial aid if you are a college student.

Drivers need to be aware of the serious nature of an OWI conviction. If you find yourself facing a charge, it’s important to know your options for achieving the best possible outcome. Depending on the facts of your case, such an outcome could be a reduction or dismissal of the charge. An experienced OWI defense attorney can fight to protect your rights and help you seek a positive resolution of your case.