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Wisconsin OWI Laws

Being charged with OWI in Wisconsin is serious. You risk license suspension, license revocation, and jail time. 

Having the right lawyer on your side can make the difference between an OWI charge dismissal and losing your freedom.

Mishlove and Stuckert are authorities on Wisconsin OWI laws. We invite you to explore answers to frequently asked questions.

You Have Rights Let Our OWI Defense Attorneys Defend Them

It goes without saying that our OWI defense attorneys are not in favor of drunk driving. However, we are in favor of making sure that every individual's legal rights are thoroughly defended, regardless of the charges they face. Let us provide the fair and honest representation you need during this difficult time.

Don't Fight OWI Charges Alone Call the attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law today

If you have been charged with OWI, our attorneys' advanced understanding of OWI law can save your license and your freedom. In fact, the very first Wisconsin OWI/DUI attorney's textbook was co-authored by Andrew Mishlove. Our focus on this specific area of criminal law can help you avoid jail time and other serious penalties, especially if you have prior OWI convictions. Now is the time to reach out to our firm. Call us today for a free case review:

(414) 332-3499

"Andrew and his team are extremely professional and tenacious people who will fight for you when needed. I believe in their integrity and thank them for everything they have done for me." Jennifer Biewer

Can you really fight
a Wisconsin OWI charge?

Just because you’re facing an OWI charge in Wisconsin doesn't mean you don't stand a chance of beating the charges. Because our attorneys are true OWI specialists, they can build a defense against the charges that could result in a case dismissal or reduced charges, just as they have done for many clients over the years. If you or someone you love is facing OWI charges, we know you probably have many questions. We invite you to explore answers to some of the most common questions our clients ask:

How long does the DA have to charge you with an OWI offense?

The district attorney has up to three years to charge you in a misdemeanor OWI case. In felony situations, there’s no limit on how long the office has to charge you. Felony cases typically involve accidents or multiple OWIs.

Can I be charged with a DUI in Wisconsin if I didn’t have a blood test?

The state can charge you with an OWI if you have a breath or blood test that registers your blood alcohol level at greater than .08 percent. It is illegal for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. If you already have three prior offenses, or you are under an IID order, that number goes down to .02 on a breath or blood test. 

You Can Still Be Convicted Without a Breath, Blood, or Urine Test

Though rare, it is possible for someone to be convicted of drunk driving without a breath, blood, or urine test in Wisconsin. Even if you think your case is rock-solid, your safest bet is to hire an OWI/DUI attorney who understands the prosecutor's angles and can provide a strong defense in court.

Am I going to lose my license?

You will lose your license if you’re convicted of an OWI in Wisconsin. That makes choosing an attorney who can mount a strong defense extremely important. Hire the very best lawyer to guide you through the court system and explain the law. Attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert can protect your rights and your freedom.

Drunk Driving Convictions Result in the Loss of Licenses

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Wisconsin, you will lose your license, but various factors will affect the length of revocation and whether you will be required to install an ignition interlock device if you get your license back. Each case is different. Contact our OWI attorneys to get a clear understanding of your options for defense.

Our Wisconsin OWI Attorneys Can Help

If you have been charged with OWI, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help save your license and your freedom.

If I Have a CDL Are the Laws Different?

If you drive for a living, and you have a CDL, the laws change significantly. If you’re operating a commercial motor vehicle while you’re under the influence and you have a BAC of .04% or greater, your CDL can be revoked for a year after your first offense.

A second offense can result in your CDL being revoked for life. The fines vary, as do the jail sentences, and if you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL is gone for three years. Even if you’re not driving a commercial vehicle at the time, you are disqualified from holding your CDL for a year. After your second violation, you can’t have a CDL for the rest of your life.

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Wisconsin OWI Law

I had a passenger under the age of 16. Does that change things?

If you’re driving with a passenger who is under the age of 16 and you are pulled over and charged with an OWI, the penalties automatically double. A first offense with a minor under 16 becomes a criminal misdemeanor. If you’re convicted, the court has to impose a jail sentence of at least five days.

What happens if you cause an accident while driving under the influence?

If you cause an injury by driving while intoxicated, you may face up to a year in jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and have an ignition interlock device installed. If, however, that accident results in great bodily harm (a serious or permanent injury) or death, the offense becomes a felony, and you could be facing years in prison, as well as fines of up to $100,000.

What constitutes felony OWI in Wisconsin?

You may be charged with a felony in the event of an accident that causes great bodily harm or death, or if you’ve been convicted of four or more OWI offenses.

How am I supposed to get to work if I am convicted of OWI and have my license suspended?

Aside from depending on others or taking public transportation, you could apply for an occupational license. This would allow you to drive to work and for other limited purposes for no more than 60 hours per week. If you have a prior OWI conviction, an occupational license requires a 45-day waiting period. Regardless of prior convictions, you will have a longer waiting period if you injured others while intoxicated. Your occupational license will require special proof of insurance called an SR22 certificate.  

Can the court require me to get an ignition interlock device?

Wisconsin courts can require you to get an ignition interlock device (or IID) if you’re a repeat offender, if you refused to provide a blood or breath test, or if you had a BAC level of .15 or higher. You are only allowed to operate IID-equipped vehicles for the duration, and you must pay the installation and leasing fees of the device.

Can blood test results be wrong?

Blood tests CAN be wrong. We have the best, most advanced training in headspace gas chromatography, the method that was used to test your blood. No other OWI/DUI law firm in Wisconsin is better trained to find any mistakes in your blood test.

Not Afraid to Take a Case to Trial

Not every DUI case goes to trial, but our Wisconsin DUI defense attorneys are always prepared to do so. According to Andrew Mishlove, the worst possible outcome is a client regretting that they settled rather than fighting in court. Even if you feel your back is against the wall, Mishlove and Stuckert are ready to stand by your side.

Don't Risk Your License or Freedom

Courtroom and defendant
If you need an aggressive defense, a fair fee structure, and an attorney with a track record of success, call Wisconsin’s only true OWI/DUI defense specialists.

"I highly recommend Mishlove & Stuckert!"


Guy Grenfell


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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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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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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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