Penalties for a Second OWI/DUI in Wisconsin

Penalties for a Second OWI/DUI in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin second offense OWI/DUI offense is not just a ticket. This is a serious criminal charge that carries significant penalties, including a jail sentence and loss of driving privileges.

  • Jail: Five days to six months.
  • License Revocation: 12 to 18 months.
  • Occupational Permit: After 45 days.
  • IID: Mandatory.
  • Alcohol Assessment and Treatment: Mandatory. 

If you are facing a second offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin, you need a knowledgeable DUI attorney who has the experience and skill to work to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law has been voted the top DUI law firm in Wisconsin. If you have been accused of a second offense OWI/DUI, we can help you secure the best possible outcome.

What Is an OWI? Why Did I Get Two Drunk Driving Tickets?

OWI is the term used in Wisconsin for drunk driving. Many other states use a similar term, DUI (which is why we use the term OWI/DUI).  OWI stands for "operating while intoxicated." These charges are very common. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, about 30,000 people are arrested for OWI in this state every year.

OWI (or DUI) is one of two types of drunk driving offenses. In some states, it is called the “common-law” offense. In an OWI case, the prosecutor must prove that because of the consumption of alcohol or drugs, you were unable to safely operate the vehicle. OWI does not require proof of a particular alcohol level, although it may be proved by an alcohol level over the legal limit, which is usually .08.

In Wisconsin, there is another type of drunk driving offense, called PAC.  PAC stands for “prohibited alcohol concentration.” In many states, it is called “BAC” or the “per se” charge.  In a PAC case, the prosecutor must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle (on a public roadway) with an alcohol level that was over the legal limit. PAC does not require proof of any impairment.

It is important to know that although the OWI and the PAC are two separate charges, you cannot be punished for both. Even if you are convicted for both, it only counts as one conviction and you can only be punished for one case. We often say that it is really two different ways of accusing you of one thing.

OWI/DUI laws vary from state to state.  In Wisconsin, OWI and PAC may be based on several things:

  • Because of the consumption of alcohol, being unable to safely operate the vehicle, even if you are not above the legal alcohol limit (some people may be impaired even though they are below the limit).
  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher.
  • Having a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in your blood.  Restricted controlled substances include marijuana (delta-9 THC), cocaine, and heroin.
  • Because of the consumption of medication or a combination of medication and alcohol, being unable to safely operate the vehicle.

Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC, is Wisconsin’s leading law firm in OWI/DUI defense. We have the knowledge, skill, and experience to determine whether you were lawfully charged with an OWI/DUI.

Are You Facing a Second DUI Offense? Call the Top-Rated OWI/DWI Lawyers

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have been voted the best DUI lawyers in Wisconsin and our firm is nationally recognized among the best DUI defense firms in the country. Because a second DUI charge carries much more serious consequences than a first offense, you need the best possible representation on your side. Our attorneys are the only true DUI defense specialists in the state. They have received recognition from organizations such as: 

  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • Better Business Bureau
  • SuperLawyers
  • Avvo

We offer free initial consultations, and our phones are answered 24/7/365. To talk to a lawyer about your second offense DUI, send us a message or call us:

(414) 332-3499

- Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert

Are You Worried That a Second Offense Will Change Your Life?

Wisconsin second offense OWI/DUI cases carry serious penalties, including jail, driver’s license revocation, mandatory ignition interlock, and fines. It’s easy to feel like the situation is hopeless, especially if there is a breath or blood test over the legal limit. Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have helped many second offense OWI/DUI clients. They have won the cases that others thought were hopeless. So, even if you have a tough case involving passengers or injuries, Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC can help you reach the best possible outcome.

"I’m an Illinois resident that got pulled over just before the border in Wisconsin. Andrew did an excellent job getting my charge reduced (which isn’t easy in Wisconsin) and preventing me from having to go through the nightmare of dealing with the elevated penalties Illinois applies to its drivers when they receive a DUI in Wisconsin. Would highly recommend." - Client: Name Withheld

Frank L.

February 2019

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Extremely talented experts in defending those who are charged with crimes. The wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring in helping defendants is second to none!

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Dylan R.


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I had the privilege of working with andrew mishlove and his group. I could not be happier with the results and the amount of extra work they did to make sure I understood everything that was happening during the process. I would recommend them to anyone who has made a mistake that results in needing legal representation.

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Sentencing hearing may take place on the day of conviction, or in some cases on a later date. At a sentencing hearing, the prosecution first makes a recommendation to the judge. If there are any victims such as an accident victim, they will be allowed to speak. Sometimes, there is a government probation agent report called a “presentence investigation.” These are discussed. Sometimes, the defense will have a privately obtained presentence investigation. In some cases, these are very important.

Your defense lawyer has an opportunity to present your side of the story. This is a critical phase of the proceedings. While some attorneys consider this a time to merely list the factors that justify a lenient sentence, at Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC, we consider it the time to present you to the court as a complete person. We talk about your life history, your family, your job, your hobbies, your hopes, and your dreams.  When it's appropriate, we talk about your addiction and your recovery. Judges are always concerned about the future; they want to know why they can trust you, and they are worried that if you do it again, you will hurt someone. By presenting you as a complete person and telling the story of your life, we establish a basis for the court to believe in you.

Your defense lawyer has an opportunity to present your side of the story. 

The next stage is your chance to talk. All persons who are being sentenced have what is called the right of “allocution.” That means that you get to speak directly to the judge. This, too, is a critical phase, and at Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC, we know how to get you prepared for that moment. The final stage of sentencing is when the judge pronounces the sentence. It is important to also be prepared for that. When your lawyer has the skill, experience, and commitment to defend you properly, the sentencing hearing is far more likely to be a step on the path to a better future.

“Andrew Mishlove could be the best DWI lawyer in Wisconsin. I was pushed to make a deal in my pending situation. I told my lawyer that the deal was unacceptable. He told me that he went to a seminar that was hosted by Andrew, and that his expertise would be needed to defend my case. I used both lawyers together and it was the best decision I could have made in this situation. Andrew was incredible, to say the least! His expertise was crucial to getting my case dismissed. His knowledge of DWI Law is a step above any attorney that your friend, co-worker, or relative may refer you. I can not express in words how much Andrew has helped me & family through. Thank you, Andrew!” - Mitch

Penalties for a Second OWI/DUI Charge in Wisconsin

Unlike a civil first offense Wisconsin OWI/DUI,  a second offense is a criminal misdemeanor. A second OWI/DUI is any offense that occurs within 10 years of a previous conviction. For a second offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin, there are mandatory penalties:

Man's hands on jail cell bars


A judge must impose a minimum of five days to a maximum of six months in jail.

Policeman administering breathalyzer to driver

License Revocation

A judge must impose a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 18 months of driver’s license revocation, plus the length of the jail sentence. There is a minimum CDL disqualification of one year, and if there is a prior offense after September 2005, the CDL disqualification is for life.

Occupational Permit

After 45 days. This allows limited driving privileges for the purposes of work and other necessities of life. An occupational permit allows you to drive to work, school, and errands. You can also drive to your place of worship, medical appointments, and your Driver Safety Plan course. However, you cannot use an occupational license to drive for recreational purposes or to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Further, you will be limited to 12 hours of driving time per day and 60 hours of driving time per week.


Mandatory on all vehicles owned and all vehicles driven.

Alcohol Assessment and Treatment

Mandatory. This is a meeting with a government or approved private social worker, who will assess your alcohol or drug treatment needs and develop something called a Driver Safety Plan. The Driver Safety Plan may include additional driver safety classes, or it may be intensive alcohol or drug abuse treatment. You are required to complete the Driver Safety Plan in order to reinstate your driver’s license.

Fine and Costs

If you are convicted of a second OWI/DUI in Wisconsin, you face a minimum fine of $350.00 up to a maximum of $1,100.00 plus costs. These fines can put a strain on your budget, especially because of the costs of jail work-release or time off from work. You are, however, entitled to a payment plan that is reasonable.

Cash and gavel

DNA Sample

Following any criminal OWI/DUI arrest, you may be subjected to a DNA sample collection. Police use DNA samples, like high-tech fingerprints, to investigate other crimes. They are stored in a permanent government database. While this is not an issue for many people, many people do consider the mandatory DNA sample to compromise their privacy

Factors That Affect Your Sentencing

All Wisconsin counties have OWI/DUI SENTENCING GUIDLEINES. These guidelines give the judge a non-binding recommended sentence for every OWI/DUI case, based on a list of factors. These factors are often listed as either aggravated or mitigated, and cases are also often listed as aggravated or mitigated.

The primary factor in all the sentencing guidelines is the alcohol level. Other factors include the level of danger of the driving, the cooperation with the police, the extent of alcohol or substance abuse treatment, and others.

It’s important to remember that the Sentencing Guidelines are not mandatory, and that you are not just a list of factors. You are a person. At Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC we have more than 50 years of experience in presenting you to the court as a person and achieving the best possible results. We win many cases, but not all cases can be won. We are the experts in ensuring the fairest possible sentence

Ensure the Best Possible Outcome & Contact the #1 OWI/DUI Team in Wisconsin

Unlike a first offense, your second OWI/DUI will carry much more serious penalties because it is considered a criminal misdemeanor. Hiring the DUI defense attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC gives you the best chance to win your case.

Our attorneys know how to defend the toughest cases. We are the experts in fighting the most serious cases so that you can continue living your life as normally as possible. To talk to us about your case, request your free consultation online or call us:

(414) 332-3499

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert

Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law

Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law has been rated the #1 OWI/DUI law firm in the state by Wisconsin Law Journal Reader Rankings. Our OWI/DUI specialists have been highly rated by organizations including: 

  • Avvo™
  • Super Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Better Business Bureau 

To speak with one of our board-certified OWI/DUI defense specialists, request a consultation online or call us at (414) 332-3499.

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"Mr. Mishlove was worth every penny and then some. I would consider him the Michelangelo of the DUI defense world.
He is professional, dedicated, and pours his heart into his job. I would give him 10 stars if I could."
Ronald S.

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