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OWI/DUI That Results in Injury

By Andrew Mishlove on January 10, 2020


Aftermath of an auto accidentSkilled Wisconsin attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have helped numerous clients charged with drunk driving. It’s important to have an operating while intoxicated (OWI)/driving under the influence (DUI) lawyer on your side to help contest charges, have penalties reduced, and to figure out what will happen to you next as your case proceeds.

This guidance and insight can be especially helpful if you’ve been charged with causing harm to another person while you were drunk driving. Let’s explore these kinds of cases and the penalties for OWI that results in harm to another person.

Injuries to Other Motorists

If you’re drunk driving, you may be speeding, weaving around other vehicles, or disregarding traffic signs and signals. This increases your risk of collisions with other vehicles. Drivers and passengers in these vehicles could be seriously injured.

Injuries to Pedestrians and Bicyclists

In addition to people in motor vehicles, there’s also a risk of harming pedestrians and bicyclists. We share the road with others, and drunk drivers may not have the best interests of people on bikes or people on the street in mind. These dangers are heightened for people walking, jogging, or biking at night.

Penalties for Causing an Injury While Drunk Driving

In Wisconsin, a first offense OWI that results in an injury (when the driver has no prior conviction) results in the following penalties:

  • A fine of $300 to $2,000
  • 30 days to 1 year in prison
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 to 2 years

Harsher Penalties for Causing Injury with a Previous OWI

If a driver has a previous OWI conviction on their record, the penalties for causing an injury during a subsequent drunk driving accident will be much higher. These penalties include:

  • Class H felony charge
  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Up to 6 years in prison
  • Driver’s license revocation for 1 to 2 years

Penalties for Causing Great Bodily Harm While Drunk Driving

Certain injuries are classified differently than others based on the severity of harm that’s been caused. Major injuries are classified as “great bodily harm.” Such injuries involve a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, and/or impairment of a body part or organ.

If you are charged with causing great bodily harm when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the penalties include:

  • Class F felony charge
  • A fine up to $25,000
  • Up to 12.5 years in prison
  • Driver’s license revocation for 2 years

Causing a Fatal Injury While Drunk Driving

If you cause a fatal accident while drunk behind the wheel, the penalties will be even more severe. This is to be expected given the tragedy of a preventable loss of life.

Penalties for drunk driving accidents that result in fatal injuries include:

  • Class D felony charge
  • A fine up to $100,000
  • Up to 25 years in prison
  • Driver’s license revocation for 5 years

If a drunk driver has a previous OWI on their record, they could spend up to 40 years in prison for causing a fatal injury.

Contact Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC

If you live in Wisconsin and want more information about your legal options following an OWI charge, be sure to contact our team of drunk driving defense lawyers. Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC is here to help. You can reach us 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.

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