DUI Penalties and Community Service

By Andrew Mishlove on September 01, 2019


A lake on a clear dayA Wisconsin OWI/DUI defense lawyer from Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC can help you reduce the severity of drunk driving penalties you face. This means potentially reducing fines and license suspension durations, and even helping you serve community service rather than time in prison.

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert often receive questions about the penalties from OWI charges and how community service plays a role in such matters. Let’s take a moment to go over some basics regarding drunk driving penalties and consider when community service may apply.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Wisconsin

The penalties for drunk driving in the state are as follows:

  • First Offense OWI - Fine of $150-$300; driver’s license revocation of 6-9 months
  • Second Offense OWI (Prior OWI within 10 Years) - Fine of $350-$1,100; imprisonment/confinement from 5 days to 6 months; driver’s license revocation of 12-18 months on top of confinement length
  • Third Offense OWI - Fine of $600-$2,000; imprisonment/confinement from 45 days to 1 year; driver’s license revocation of 2-3 years on top of confinement length
  • Fourth Offense OWI - Fine of $600-$10,000; imprisonment/confinement from 60 days to 6 years; driver’s license revocation of 2-3 years on top of confinement length

Penalties continue to rise for subsequent OWI charges, with fines adding up to $50,000 and up to 15 years of imprisonment/confinement.

Community Service Instead of Confinement

In some cases, a judge may order community service instead of imprisonment for an OWI charge. Community service is mandatory, and the duty must be fulfilled in order to avoid imprisonment. The hours of community service you’ll be given will depend on the nature of your drunk driving charge and if there are additional OWI arrests on your record.

When community service is offered to a drunk driver, they typically accept their obligation as it is much easier to do community service than to remain incarcerated, even for a short period of time. It’s a much more lenient punishment for a drunk driver.

Examples of Community Service Duties

Some examples of community service duties may include:

  • Graffiti removal
  • Cleaning highways
  • Cleaning parks
  • Working at charities and non-profit organizations
  • Working for a support group for drunk driving victims
  • Working at an animal shelter

Your community service work will be monitored to ensure you are fulfilling the hours required and doing a good job. You supervisor will communicate with your probation officer or the courts about your work and how it’s going.

Do I Get to Choose What Community Service I Can Do?

Not always. Many times the task is assigned to you.

This aspect of community service depends on your case and the ultimate decision of the judge given the nature of the charges against you. Follow their instructions closely, and be sure to note information provided to you by your probation officer.

Why Working with Drunk Driving Attorneys Is Crucial

While community service may not be guaranteed in all cases, a skilled attorney can help you receive community service instead of imprisonment. It’s one of many ways that OWI lawyers can help get charges against you reduced, or at least help you experience less severe penalties. If you go it alone, your chances of reduced sentences and penalties is considerably lower.

Speak with Skilled Drunk Driving Attorneys

To learn more about your legal options following a drunk driving charge in Wisconsin, be sure to contact a skilled drunk driving attorney. The attorneys at Mishlove & Stuckert can be reached by phone in Milwaukee at (414) 206-6918 and in Waukesha at (262) 207-4527.

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