Wisconsin Penalties For A First OWI With Minor Passenger
While most first OWI violations are first offenses subject only to civil penalties, if you were driving with a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the case will be elevated to a criminal charge.
You face similar penalties to those charged with second offense OWI: between a minimum five-day and a maximum 6-month jail sentence.
The drivers license revocation is trickier. When this law passed in July 2010, the legislation only specified that the jail sentence would be the same as a second offense. Some prosecutors mistakenly believe that the court should also increase the revocation. Before this law went into effect, however, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation already doubled the length of the revocation if there was a minor in the vehicle. The problem occurs when the court increases the revocation, and then the DOT also increases it. The revocation may be twice what either the court intended.
It is important to have a lawyer who is able to guide the judge and prosecutor on the proper application of the law so that your revocation does not get an extra doubling.
The Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement follows the same guidelines for a civil first offense OWI, meaning that if the result of your breath test at the police station or blood test at the hospital result is .15 or higher, you will be required to put the IID in your vehicle.
Again, it’s important that your lawyer understands this as some prosecutors may believe the IID applies in all OWI with minor cases as it does in all second offenses.
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