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Wisconsin OWI Penalties

Wisconsin OWI/DUI penalties can be harsh. A fourth drunk driving offense could result in a lifetime driver’s license revocation.

Penalties for an OWI conviction can vary from county to county. You need lawyers who can explain your options clearly.

The OWI attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert can explain Wisconsin's drunk and intoxicated driving laws and strategize a strong defense. 

Have You Been Arrested for OWI/DUI?

Don't face an OWI offense alone. Mishlove and Stuckert can help you fight your drunk driving charges. Learn how we can fight to get your OWI/DUI charge dropped or reduced. Contact our attorneys today to discuss your case.

OWI Lawyers with Unmatched Credentials No One Is Like Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert

If you've been charged with drunk driving in the state of Wisconsin, you should work with the board-certified attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert. Our law firm has nationally recognized credentials when it comes to the application of science and forensics in the courtroom, and Mr. Mishlove literally wrote the book on OWI/DUI defense in Wisconsin. 

An Introduction to Wisconsin OWI Penalties

Each OWI offense involves a substantial number of penalties. A comprehensive list of the penalties associated with each offense appears later on this page.

Fines

Fines start at $150 to $300, plus substantial court costs. For example, a $150.00 fine plus court costs will be $811.50 for a first offense and can increase to tens of thousands of dollars with multiple offenses. A seventh offense, for example, can carry a fine of up to $25,000. All offenders are responsible for paying for court-mandated measures such as an ignition interlock device (IID) and other court expenses.

Jail Time

In Wisconsin, first-time offenders usually do not face jail time unless they had a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle or injured someone. A second offense will carry a minimum sentence of five days and a maximum of six months. A third offense carries a minimum sentence of 45 days and a maximum sentence of one year in jail. A fourth offense is a felony with a potential for up to six years in prison and a lifetime driver’s license revocation if committed within 15 years of the third offense. Seventh and subsequent offenses carry mandatory long prison sentences.

Driver's License Suspension

A driver's license can be suspended for up to nine months following a first offense. A second offense can result in an 18-month revocation. A third offense carries up to a three-year revocation. Fourth and subsequent offenses carry up to a three-year revocation or a lifetime revocation if committed within 15 years of the prior offense.

Hardship/Occupational License Availability

A first-time offender can immediately apply for an occupational/hardship license that permits restricted driving, usually to and from a job. Repeat offenders must wait 45 days before they can apply. For a fourth offense the law provides for a possible, but not automatic, occupational permit after no sooner than ten years.

Installation of an IID Device

For a first offense case with a chemical test of .15 and above, and for all other cases, an Ignition Interlock device (IID) must be installed in your vehicle. This applies to every vehicle that you own and every vehicle that you drive. The court may allow a vehicle to be exempt from the IID, but then you may not drive it. An IID device requires you to blow into the breath-test component before you can start the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol in your breath, the car won’t start.

A Criminal Record

If you are convicted of OWI/DUI in Wisconsin it will always be on your record. A first offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense, although it is in every other state and in Canada. If someone was injured or if there was a minor child under 16 in the vehicle, it will be a criminal offense. All second or subsequent offenses are criminal. A fourth offense is a felony. If your record is important to you, then you should schedule a free initial consultation with us to determine how we can fight your case.

Facing a Wisconsin OWI/DUI charge?
the consequences may be serious
Contact Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC for a free initial consultation

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert are Wisconsin's only true NCDD-American Bar Association accredited DUI defense specialists.

Our lawyers have more than 50 years of experience in achieving dismissals and reducing charges for clients that have been charged with drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and other OWI charges. We have experience helping clients that have been charged with their first offense, as well as those with a history of OWI convictions.

We have offices in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Waukesha, and West Bend. Give our Wisconsin law firm a call or contact us online to discuss your case.

(414) 332-3499

Mishlove and Stuckert
Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC, is one of the country's most respected DUI firms. They can help you with your case.

“why not go with the best?”

Taking into consideration the embarrassing nature of being charged with a DUI and then not being able to focus on the importance of selecting an attorney to represent you………..What an uncomfortable situation! I was referred to Atty Mishlove by a friend who is an attorney in another state. His words were “why not go with the best?” “you deserve the best representation possible.” ” Cynthia

Understanding Notices of Intent

Administrative hearing

License Suspension

In Wisconsin, if you have a breath test or a blood test over the legal limit (.08 for first, second and third offenses; and .02 for fourth and subsequent offenses), the police may issue a Notice of Intent to Suspend Operating Privileges. The notice serves as a temporary, 30-day license. Once you receive this notice, you must request an administrative hearing within 10 days. If you fail to request a hearing, you may lose your license before your OWI court date has arrived. So, if you had a breath test or a blood test come back over the legal limit, it is critically important to contact us right away!

License Revocation

If the police believe that you have failed to consent or refused to give a breath or a blood sample (and even asking for an attorney might constitute a refusal) they will issue a Notice of Intent to Revoke Operating Privileges. This document also has a 10-day time limit to demand a hearing or you will automatically lose your license. If you have a Notice of Intent to Revoke, then contact us immediately for legal help. 

Beware of the 10-Day Time Limit

Buried in the fine print of a Notice of Intent to Suspend and a Notice of Intent to Revoke is a 10-day time limit to respond. 

You will lose your license if you fail to respond before the deadline. 

A Closer Look at OWI Penalties

1st Offense 2nd Offense

Fine: If this is the first time you’re facing OWI charges in Wisconsin, you will face a fine of $150 to $300, plus substantial court costs. For example, $150.00 plus court costs is actually $811.50.

Jail time: Unless there was a minor passenger or someone was hurt, a Wisconsin first offense OWI/DUI carries no jail time.

License revocation: Your driver’s license will be revoked for six to nine months.

IID: If you have a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, you will also have to have your vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock device, at your expense.

Restricted license: You are immediately eligible for an occupational license.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

Fine: For a second offense, the fine can be from $350.00 to $1,100, plus substantial court costs.

Jail time: There is a minimum mandatory jail sentence of five days and a maximum jail sentence of six months.

License revocation: There is a driver’s license revocation of 12 to 18 months.

IID: Mandatory ignition interlock device.

Restricted license: You can’t apply for an occupational license until 45 days after conviction.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

3rd Offense 4th Offense

Fine: For a third offense, the fine is from $600.00 up to $2,000, but this can be doubled at a .17, tripled at a .20, and quadrupled at a .25 alcohol level.

Jail time: You will serve a jail term of 45 days to a year.

License revocation: Your license will be revoked for two to three years.

IID: You must have an ignition interlock device installed.

Restricted license: You can’t apply for an occupational license until 45 days after conviction.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

In Wisconsin, a fourth offense OWI/DUI is a felony. 

Fine: The fine for a fourth offense OWI/DUI is from $600.00 up to $10,000.00 plus court costs, but this can be doubled at a .17, tripled at a .20, and quadrupled at a .25 alcohol level.

Jail time: There is a minimum jail sentence of 60 days and a maximum prison time of six years, with a maximum period of initial confinement of three years.

License revocation: Lifetime revocation if it is within 15 years of the third offense. Otherwise, your license will be revoked for two to three years.

IID: You must have an ignition interlock device installed in every vehicle that you own, even if you are not allowed to drive.

Restricted license: You can apply for a discretionary occupational license after ten years.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

5th & 6th Offense 7th, 8th & 9th Offense

Fine: The fine for a fifth or sixth offense OWI/DUI is from $600.00 up to $10,000.00 plus court costs, but this can be doubled at a .17, tripled at a .20, and quadrupled at a .25 alcohol level.

Jail time: There is a minimum jail sentence of 60 days and a maximum prison time of six years, with a maximum period of initial confinement of three years.

License revocation: Two years to a lifetime revocation.

IID: You must have an ignition interlock device installed in every vehicle that you own, even if you are not allowed to drive.

Restricted license: You can apply for a discretionary occupational license after ten years.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

Fine: The fine for a seventh, eighth, or ninth sixth offense OWI/DUI is up to $25,000.00 plus court costs.

Jail time: There is a minimum jail sentence of three years and a maximum prison time of 12.5 years.

License revocation: Two years to a lifetime revocation.

IID: You must have an ignition interlock device installed in every vehicle that you own, even if you are not allowed to drive.

Restricted license: You can apply for a discretionary occupational license after ten years.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.

Tenth and Subsequent Offenses

Fine: The fine for a tenth or subsequent offense OWI/DUI is up to $50,000.00 plus court costs.

Jail time: There is a minimum jail sentence of four and a maximum prison time of 15 years.

License revocation: Two years to a lifetime revocation.

IID: You must have an ignition interlock device installed in every vehicle that you own, even if you are not allowed to drive.

Restricted license: You can apply for a discretionary occupational license after ten years.

Alcohol assessment: You will need to have an alcohol assessment, which is a meeting with a social worker. It is very likely that you will be required to attend classes or go to treatment.


View the full OWI penalty chart from Wisconsin's Department of Transportation.

Contact Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC for Help with Your Case

If you have been charged with an OWI/DUI case in Wisconsin, contact us for a free initial consultation. Our goal is to win the case so you can move forward with your life. Contact us online or call us in Wisconsin at:

(414) 332-3499

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Amy Scherff

2022

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Lauren and Sara have both done and followed through with everything they said they would! Timely communication and trustworthy. The best Firm!

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2021

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Lawyers refer other lawyers to those who we belong e represent clients at the highest level. I’m from Los Angles, CA and here is here I’d send my clients. Who cares about clients? The ethics of the profession? Andrew, that’s who.

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Harsher Penalties Are Possible Depending on What Happened and Who Was in the Vehicle

If a minor was in your vehicle while you were driving under the influence, you could face much harsher penalties than you would for a normal OWI/DUI, even if it's your first offense. Given our credentials and familiarity with Wisconsin law, our lawyers can help you get these penalties reduced.

Circumstances that Can Increase
OWI Penalties in Wisconsin:
Causing an Injury while Intoxicated

On January 1, 2017, the definition of “injury” was expanded so that almost anyone in an accident with a drunken driver may claim an injury, even if they were not technically hurt.

If you cause a minor injury and you submit to chemical testing, you face fines of up to $2,000.00 plus costs, and you could spend up to a year in jail - even if you have no prior offenses. Your license will be revoked for up to two years and, if you have a BAC of .15 or higher, you will have an IID installed in your car.

If you have any prior offenses or you refuse the chemical test, you face up to $10,000.00 in fines and up to six years in prison with the other penalties.

Those accidents that cause great bodily harm to the victim come with fines of up to $25,000.00. This includes any injury that creates a strong risk of death or causes some permanent damage like disfigurement, extensive loss or impairment of some part of the body or organ, or any other serious injury.

These DUI accidents are considered a Class F felony, for which you can serve up to 12.5 years in prison. Your license can be revoked for two or more years. If you have a BAC of .15 or more or this is a repeat offense, an IID will be installed in your vehicle for up to two years.

Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle

OWI/DUI homicides are the most serious kind of OWI/DUI that a person can face. Not only has an innocent victim died, perhaps even someone you knew, but you will face up to $100,000.00 in fines and up to 25 years in prison. For a second or subsequent OWI/DUI homicide, the possible prison term increases to 40 years. Your license will be revoked for five years and you can’t apply for a hardship license until 120 days have passed. Repeat OWI offenders can’t apply for 12 months.

We Can Help You Fight Your Charges Contact Our Defense Lawyers About Your OWI Offense

A drunk driving charge can have lasting effects on your criminal and driving record. If you were arrested with a high BAC or injured someone while intoxicated, you could be facing a longer sentence and even felony charges.

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert will use their training and credentials to help fight your OWI/DUI arrest.

Speak with defense attorneys who know how to make Wisconsin state law work for their clients. Contact our law firm today to set up a free case evaluation.

(414) 332-3499

Mishlove and Stuckert

"highly recommend his service"

"Because of the knowledge and expertise of Mr. Mishlove, my felony 5th D.U.I. was reduced to a misdemeanor 4th. In addition, he argued for the minimum sentence for a 4th offense and we won. I had a few factors working to my benefit in the case, but without Mr. Mishlove the outcome would not have been possible. I would highly recommend his service for a D.U.I./ O.W.I. case." Steven

Penalties for Refusing Chemical Tests
There are consequences for refusing DUI testing...

One

First Offense

License Revocation: 1 year

Occupational Permit: 30-day wait

IID: Mandatory

Two

Second Offense

License Revocation: Two years

Occupational Permit: 90-day wait, unless two convictions are within five years, then it is a one-year wait

IID: Mandatory

Three

Third Offense

License Revocation: Three years

Occupational Permit: 120-day wait, unless two convictions are within five years, then it is a one-year wait

IID: Mandatory

The 7 Key Factors of Drunk Driving Defense

Lawyers from across the country call Mishlove and Stuckert for advice on their drunk driving cases. We are especially renowned for turning our clients' cases into compelling stories that help them avoid becoming another OUI conviction statistic. Watch to learn more about how we can mount you a vigorous, multi-layered defense. 

How an Attorney Can Help with Your Drunk Driving Case

An OWI can have far-reaching effects that devastate your finances, your career, and much more. Our attorneys can identify flaws in the case against you in order to minimize your penalties, or, in some cases, have the charges dropped altogether.

Did the Officer Have Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause?

It is possible that your rights were violated when you were stopped, arrested, or charged with OWI. We will investigate whether or not the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion and probable cause to pull you over and charge you with OWI.

Were OWI/DUI Tests Administered Properly?

We will evaluate the manner in which any field sobriety tests, breath tests or blood tests were performed. If the officer or laboratory analyst failed to follow proper procedures, the results of these tests can be impeached and possibly even excluded as evidence in your OWI case.
 

Were Lab Protocols Followed?

Lab technicians are required to follow certain procedures when taking and storing urine or blood in OWI cases. Failure to follow these protocols can result in faulty records or inaccurate results.

Proud to Defend the People of Wisconsin "He turned the case around on the prosecutor and won over the judge"

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Guy Grenfell

2020

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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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Daina Castillo

2021

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I had the pleasure of speaking with Sara for guidance and information and out of all consultations, I have to say that hers was not just the most informative one, but also the most honest and detailed one I received. She spoke to me with compassion rather than with judgement and answered and provided me with information to all the questions I had without feeling rushed. I highly recommend her and this firm to be your go-to firm with any case that you may have :)

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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 DUI law firm in the state by Wisconsin Law Journal Reader Rankings. Our 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 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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