Understanding the DUI penalties you may face is critical when you have been arrested on an OWI or DUI charge. Clients should be aware that a first offense OWI is considered a civil traffic violation punishable by license revocation. Fourth, fifth, or sixth offenses are felonies.
Wisconsin is the only state in the country where a first offense OWI is considered a civil traffic violation. It is not criminal. You are not subjected to any jail time with a first offense OWI unless you had a minor in the vehicle or unless you injure someone, or of course in an OWI, homicide first offense. You do face severe license penalties, though. Anywhere from a six- to nine-month driver's license revocation.
If you've been charged with a second offense OWI, you do face jail time. It is a criminal offense. If convicted, the judge will sentence you to anywhere from five days to six months in the county jail. You also are subjected to a 12- to 18-month driver's license revocation.
If you've been charged with operating while intoxicated third offense, this is a criminal offense that subjects you to jail time anywhere from a minimum 45 days to a maximum 1 year in the county jail.
As of January 1st, 2017, all fourth offenses are felonies. The penalty associated with a fourth offense felony OWI is anywhere from 60 days jail to a prison sentence of 6 years.
OWI fifth and sixth offenses are felony that subject a person to the possibility of a prison sentence. The minimum jail time a person faces for an OWI fifth or sixth offense is six months. There's also a 24- to 36-month driver's license revocation and ignition interlock device order and the alcohol and other drug assessment.