Wisconsin OWI with an Illinois Driver's License

Illinois and Wisconsin have distinct drunk driving laws, which can complicate matters when Illinois residents are charged with operating while intoxicated in Wisconsin.

This is why it is important to work with an attorney who understands the unique legal processes involved.

Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law are authorities on Wisconsin drunk driving laws who can help you achieve the best possible results.

We Defend Illinois Drivers Accused of OWI While in Wisconsin

Wisconsin drunk driving laws are complex, and they become even more so when you cross the state line from Illinois. Here is a scenario we often see: an Illinois driver is arrested for DUI (known as OWI in Wisconsin) and asks the police officer what will happen to his license.

Drivers like this are usually told two things:

  • Since you have an Illinois license, the case doesn’t matter.
  • You need an Illinois defense lawyer to handle consequences at home.

Both of these are absolutely wrong. So what is the best course of action for an Illinois resident facing an OWI charge?

Glass of alcohol and keys

Illinois Drivers Charged with OWI Need a Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney Because:

A Wisconsin OWI Will Affect You in Your Home State

Lawyers who specialize in these types of cases are familiar with the complex laws in Wisconsin, as well as how those laws affect drivers from neighboring states.

We Have Partnerships with Attorneys in Illinois

At Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law, we know the complicated interstate issues surrounding drunk driving arrests. We work closely with the best Illinois lawyers to defend your case and help you reinstate your license.

An Attorney Can Minimize the Consequences

A number of strategies can be employed to mitigate the damage of an OWI case for an out-of-state driver, including using Wisconsin refusal laws or changing residency to the State of Wisconsin. During your consultation, our attorneys can determine the best approach to having your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

You Could Lose Your Illinois License

While many Wisconsin OWI penalties only apply within the state's borders, the state will report the conviction to Illinois. The state of Illinois will revoke your license according to Illinois DUI penalties, which are more harsh than Wisconsin's OWI penalties.

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The Impact Wisconsin OWI Cases Can Have on Illinois Drivers

An out-of-state DUI can be stressful and confusing. At Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law,  we can help Illinois residents handle their arrest. While we operate out of Wisconsin, our skilled lawyers are familiar with interstate laws and have valuable partnerships with attorneys in Illinois who can help you reinstate your license if you are convicted.

Read Reviews from Some of Our Past Clients We Are Committed to Fighting Your OWI Charges


Anthony Dell'Aquila

Milwaukee, WI


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I hired Lauren Stuckert in early 2018 for a case that ultimately dragged on for five years due to a variety of factors including Covid. Lauren was reassuring and professional every step of the way. It was clear that she placed a high priority on getting my case resolved. When my case was finally called to trial, I can’t express how impressed I was. Without going into details, she knew when to ask what questions and when to raise what issues. She was a shark when she needed to be while always remaining composed. If you’re searching for an attorney for an OWI case, stop looking. Lauren will fight for you every step of the way and you will get the best possible outcome. I know I certainly did.

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Milwaukee, WI


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Andrew Mishlove recently defended my son at his OWI trial. It was Mr. Mishlove's thorough preparation of all materials and ability to present facts in a clear manner that permitted the jury to unanimously vote Not Guilty. Look no further. Well worth the cost! Highly recommend!

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Talk to the Leading Experts
on Defending Illinois Drivers Accused of OWI in Wisconsin

Clients can count on Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law, to help them get the best possible outcome in their OWI case. In fact, Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert are the only true NCDD-American Bar Association accredited DUI defense specialists in the state of Wisconsin. Our lawyers have more than 40 years of combined experience obtaining dismissals and reduced charges for clients facing a range of OWI-related charges, including OWI injury cases, OWI drug cases, OWIs with minor passengers, and OWIs involving vehicular homicides.

We have four conveniently located offices in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, West Bend, and Waukesha. For assistance with your case, we invite you to contact us online or call us at:

(414) 332-3499

OWI attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert
Both Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert are board-certified OWI/DUI defense specialists. Both attorneys also have special training in blood alcohol content (BAC) testing performed by law enforcement.

Illinois DUI vs. Wisconsin OWI:
What Are the Key Differences?

If drivers aren't represented by a Wisconsin DUI lawyer, they can find themselves in trouble with the Illinois Secretary of State. For Illinois drivers stopped in Wisconsin, the case is more serious than if they had been stopped in Illinois. Why?

Plea Bargains Are Common in First DUI Offenses in Illinois

Even though an Illinois DUI is a very serious charge, the actual consequences for a person charged with first-offense DUI in Illinois are not as serious. Typically in Illinois, they plea bargain and receive a reduced charge or “court supervision.”

As a Result, Charges and Penalties Are Typically Reduced in Illinois

Under this type of negotiation, the Illinois driver’s license is suspended for a few months. If the driver completes court-ordered classes, the case is dismissed, and there is no DUI on the record.

A First DUI Conviction in Illinois Carries More Serious Consequences

By the time Illinois drivers get their first DUI conviction, they will have had at least one other DUI arrest. Therefore, the consequences for a repeat offender in Illinois are quite severe and can include license revocation for an indefinite term of one year to life.

Plea Bargaining in Wisconsin OWI Cases in Limited

Plea bargaining is strictly limited by law in Wisconsin OWI cases. So, if you are charged with a first-offense DUI, a plea bargain is not the rule, it is a rare exception. If you win your case (as many of our clients do) you will have no conviction on your record. If you lose or plead guilty, however, you will have an OWI conviction on your record and may be subject to various penalties in Wisconsin, including some that can affect your driving status in Illinois.

We Can Take Your Case All the Way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Our Team Will Stick with You for as Long as It Takes

“I owe a great debt of thanks to Andrew Mishlove. He successfully defended me in an OWI case that endured for more than 6 ½ years in the Wisconsin judicial system, including a detour through the Wisconsin State Supreme Court system, and ultimately led to a showdown in an Ozaukee County criminal court resulting in a not-guilty verdict returned by a 12-member jury in February 2023.”
Ries Hansen

Do Any of These Penalties Apply in the State of Illinois?

It is important to know that most of these penalties only apply within the borders of Wisconsin. However, the state will report the OWI conviction to Illinois. Typically, the State of Illinois will issue a reciprocal revocation order. This means that the Illinois license will also be revoked, possibly for a long time.

License Revocation Penalties Are More Severe in Illinois

A Wisconsin OWI conviction will be treated as though it is a DUI conviction in Illinois. As a result, drivers will be subject to the harsher penalties set forth by the state of Illinois. Since a first DUI offense in Illinois is typically reduced, the first conviction is considered more serious and treated as a repeat offense. The first DUI conviction in Illinois has the same consequences as if it were the second or third arrest because there is no eligibility for court supervision in Illinois for a Wisconsin conviction.

Lawyer going through documentation

An Attorney Can Reduce the Consequences of the Case

So, what happens? The Illinois license is revoked indefinitely for a term of one year to life. Because a Wisconsin OWI can have such a significant impact on driving status in Illinois, it is critical that drivers discuss their case with the team at Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law. We will do everything we can to prevent an OWI conviction; if drivers are convicted, we work with skilled attorneys in Illinois who can work with us to minimize the amount of time that your license is revoked in your home state.

Work with a Lawyer Who Wrote the Book on Wisconsin Intoxicated Driving Defense Contact Our Practice Today

Defense lawyer Andrew Mishlove is acknowledged as one of the state's leading experts in handling these types of cases for Illinois drivers. He literally wrote the book on the subject: Mishlove and Ramsell, Handling OWI Cases For Those Illinois Drivers, The Wisconsin Lawyer, March 2007.

At Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law, we know the complicated interstate issues surrounding drunk driving arrests. We work closely with the best Illinois lawyers to defend your case and get the best possible results.

We have four conveniently located offices in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, West Bend, and Waukesha. Submit an online case evaluation request or call us today at:

(414) 332-3499

Wisconsin State Laws: Driving While Intoxicated 

According to WI state laws, it is illegal for drivers to operate a motor vehicle:

  • With a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher
  • While under the influence of an intoxicating substance
  • With detectable amounts of restricted controlled substances in the blood
  • While under the influence of a controlled substance or any other drug

If a driver is a repeat offender with three or more previous OWI convictions, the BAC limit is lower, at 0.02.

Drivers under 21 years of age are subject to the absolute sobriety law and can't have any amount of alcohol in their system.

gavel and keys

Statutory Limits on Penalties for OWI Convictions

When a person is convicted of OWI, a judge will determine how harsh the penalties will be. However, the judge has to remain within the statutory limits set forth by the state. When aggravating circumstances are involved, such as driving with a minor or pregnant womanhaving a high BAC, or an accident causing injury or death, the consequences are even more severe. The general guidelines for first-time and repeat offenders are as follows:

Fines Jail Time License Revocation IID Restricted license
First Offense $150-$300, plus court costs None Six to nine months None if your BAC was under .15 You can apply immediately
Second Offense Up to $1,100, plus court costs Five days to six months Up to 18 months Mandatory installation  (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction
Third Offense Up to $2,000, plus court costs 45 days to a year Two to three years Mandatory installation (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction
Fourth Offense Up to $10,000, plus court costs 60 days to six years Two to three years or a lifetime revocation if the fourth offense is committed within 15 years of the third offense Mandatory installation (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction
Fifth and Sixth Offense Up to $25,000, plus court costs Six months to 10 years Two to three years Mandatory installation (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction
Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Offense Up to $25,000, plus court costs Three to 12.5 years Two to three years Mandatory installation (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction
Tenth and Subsequent Offenses Up to $50,000, plus court costs Four to 15 years Two to three years Mandatory installation (or 24/7 sobriety program) You can apply 45 days after conviction

OWI Attorneys Who Understand Sobriety Testing We Back Up Scientific Knowledge with a Skill for Storytelling

“I highly recommend Mishlove & Stuckert. I was charged with an OWI in 2019 and due to a backup in the court system, just had my day in court a couple of weeks ago [in 2022]. During the time leading up to my trial, Andrew Mishlove proved to be a fantastic advocate and sought to understand the incident and the story behind it... He is an absolute expert in field sobriety testing, so Andrew was able to leverage that knowledge to show the tests performed on me were wrongly administered.” Austin

Field Sobriety Tests: Am I Required to Submit to Testing?

Most drivers aren't legally obligated to submit to field sobriety testing. However, if you refuse a field sobriety test, you can expect to be taken into custody for further testing.

Under the state's Implied Consent law, any person who operates a motor vehicle is required to submit to chemical tests after being arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. This includes blood, breath, and urine tests. However, you are not required to take these tests in the field, and can instead request to go to the police station for testing.

If you refuse to take these tests entirely, the consequences are as follows:

Man in car with police officer holding breathalyzer

Reach Out to an Attorney
for Help with Your OWI Case

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, whether under the influence of alcohol or drugs, working with a knowledgeable attorney can minimize the consequences or have the charges dropped altogether. At Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have 40 years of experience handling all types of OWI cases. We have four convenient office locations in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, West Bend, and Waukesha.

With so much at stake, it pays to enlist the help of attorneys who have dedicated their practice to defending clients who are facing these very serious charges. Contact our practice online or call us at:

(414) 332-3499

More Reviews for Our Wisconsin OWI/DUI Lawyers We Can Find Faults in Your Arrest and Explain Them Clearly


Pete Trost

Milwaukee, WI


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I highly recommend Mishlove & Stuckert if you need representation for a driving citation. I have personally conferred with both Andrew and Lauren and both are equally personable, knowledgeable, professional, responsive and put you at ease. They both explain everything to you very clearly and so you understand the legal process. Sara is very pleasant and helpful every time you call and need something or have a question. Definitely would not have a such a favorable outcome without all of them and very appreciative of all their hard work and efforts. Highly recommended!

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Guy Grenfell

Milwaukee, WI


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I had the unfortunate experience of having to go through my first DUI. After explaining my case to Andrew he came up with a great game plan for my case. He ended up getting my breathalyzer results dropped due to the officers not following proper procedures. It was very impressive how he turned the case around on the prosecutor and won over the judge! This was a huge win for me due to having to drive other peoples cars for a living. I highly recommend Mishlove & Stuckert!

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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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