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OWI and DUI and Fines: What to Expect By Andrew Mishlove on January 22, 2019

A gavel on moneyWhen facing a charge of Driving Under the Influence, a DUI attorney can help protect your rights and lessen the penalties you may be charged with.

In the state of Wisconsin, DUIs are commonly called OWIs, which stands for Operating While Intoxicated. The fines and penalties of an OWI vary depending on many factors, including the number of offenses and whether injuries or deaths occurred as a result of the OWI.

Attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert understand the rules involving OWI and fines in the state Wisconsin and can help you through your OWI charges.

First OWI Offense Fines

Those facing a first offense OWI charge in the state of Wisconsin aren't typically required to serve jail time, but they will be fined and should expect to pay substantial court costs.

Fines for a first time OWI offense begin at $150 and go up to $300. In addition to fines, offenders will face other penalties, such as losing their license for six to nine months.

First Offense Fines Increase if a Minor Is Present

First offense fines are higher if there were one or more passengers under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the OWI offense. First offense fines for OWI with a minor present begin at $350 with a maximum of $1,100.

Although most first offense OWIs do not result in jail time, they can when a minor is in the vehicle. OWI offenders who drive with minors may be required to serve up to six months in jail.

Second OWI Offense Fines

In the event of a second OWI offense, fines are between $150 and $350. If a minor is present, fines can be up to $1,100 and jail time of five days to six months will be required. 

In addition to fines, second OWI offenders will need to pay court costs and can expect to have their license revoked for six to nine months.

Third OWI Offense Fines

For a third OWI offense, fines may be as little as $300 and up to $2,000. However, the fine can increase well above $2,000 depending on blood alcohol levels.

As with first and second offense fines, driving with a minor while OWI will lead to increased fines ranging from $1,200 to $4,000. 

In addition to fines, third time offenders will need to serve 45 days to a year in jail and will have their license revoked for two to three years.

Fourth OWI Offense Fines

After a fourth OWI offense, offenders will be charged with a felony and subject to fines of $600 to $10,000. If a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of OWI, fines can be as high as $20,000. Depending on the offender’s alcohol level, fines may be steeper.

Jail time will also be required, ranging from 60 days to six years and the offenders driver's license will be revoked for up to three years.

Fifth and Sixth OWI Offense Fines

A fifth or sixth OWI is a felony, with fines beginning at $600 and going up to $25,000. If a minor is present, fines can go up to $50,000.

Offenders should expect to serve a six-month to 10-year prison sentence, and lose their license for three years.

Seventh to Ninth OWI Offense Fines

When an OWI occurs for a seventh, eighth, or ninth time, the offender will be charged with a felony and will face fines up to $25,000 or $50,000 if a minor was present.

The maximum prison term is 12.5 years but can be greater if driving while OWI with a minor. Repeat OWI offenders will also lose their license for three years.

Tenth or More OWI Offense Fines

A tenth OWI is also considered a felony with fines up to $50,000 or $100,000 if driving with a minor.

Offenders will face a minimum prison term of four years and a maximum of 15 years.

Fines Increase in the Event of Bodily Harm or Death

OWI offenders who cause injury, great bodily harm, or death will face greater fines and prison time.

Those without a prior OWI offense who have caused an injury may face fines of $300 to $2,000 or $600 to $4,000 if driving with a minor, while those with a prior OWI will be charged with a felony and face fines up to $10,000 or $20,000 if driving with a minor.

Those who cause great bodily, regardless of having a prior offense or not, will be fined up to $25,000, charged with a felony, and required to serve up to 12.5 years in prison.

OWI offenders found responsible for the death of another person will face fines of up to $100,000, will be charged with a felony, and required to serve up to 25 years in prison for a first time OWI offense or up to 40 years if the offender has prior OWIs.

Contact Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC

If you are facing an OWI charge, you are encouraged to contact us to schedule an appointment.

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