OWI/DUI with a Child in the Car

By Andrew Mishlove on November 26, 2019


Police officer pulling over driver seen in side mirrorIf you’ve been charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI), you know just how serious the penalties can be. A Wisconsin OWI/DUI attorney can help you get the charges dropped and reduce the various penalties you may face. Both Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have years of experience assisting clients charged with drunk driving.

We should note that drunk driving penalties are far more severe for people who have been caught operating their vehicle while a minor is a passenger. Let’s discuss why this is more serious and what penalties you can face for this sort of offense.

Why OWI with a Child in the Vehicle Is More Serious

If you are caught drunk driving when a child is in your vehicle, it is considered an act of child endangerment. Since you are putting a minor at risk, legal penalties for this action will typically be much more severe.

In these kinds of OWI cases, a minor is defined as someone who is under the age of 16.

Penalties for First Offense OWI with a Minor in Vehicle

In the state of Wisconsin, penalties for OWI with a minor in the vehicle are as follows:

  • Fine of $350 to $1,100
  • Jail time of five days to six months
  • Driver’s license revocation of 12 months to 18 months

Compare that to the OWI penalties without a minor in the vehicle:

  • Fine of $150 to $300
  • No confinement time if injuries are not caused
  • Driver’s license revocation of six months to nine months

You can see how much more severe these penalties are simply because you put a minor’s well-being at risk.

Penalties for Subsequent OWI with a Minor in the Vehicle

The penalties become even more severe for subsequent OWI charges if you have a minor in the vehicle with you. For instance, if you have a prior OWI charge in the last 10 years and are found drunk driving with a minor in your vehicle, you will face the following penalties:

  • Fine: $700 to $2,200
  • Jail time of 10 days to 12 months
  • Driver’s license revocation of two years to three years

Keep in mind that these penalties get even more serious on third offense OWIs, and especially severe for felony OWI charges (fourth offense and onward).

How Our Drunk Driving Attorneys Can Help

If you’ve been charged with an OWI, keep in mind that you may have not done anything wrong. False positives may have occurred when the police officer issued a breath test or when blood tests were conducted afterward. You might have been pulled over without probable cause, and were operating the vehicle safely otherwise.

Our lawyers will look at the evidence in your case and help build a strong legal defense strategy with you. We want to make sure the system is fair and all of your legal protections are properly observed.

Speak with Our Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers

If you live in Wisconsin and need legal representation for a drunk driving charge, be sure to contact our team of drunk driving defense attorneys. You can reach Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC by phone in Milwaukee at (414) 206-6919, in Oshkosh at (920) 306-8500, in West Bend at (262) 239-4828, and in Waukesha at (262) 207-4527. Our lawyers are here to help.

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Ronald S.

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