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Wisconsin DUI (OWI) Laws

If you are arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, you will most likely lose your driving privileges for a specified period of time and may even serve time in jail. In any event, it will cost you plenty of money in fines, court fees, attorney fees, and other hidden costs. Understanding the law will help you prepare for your court procedures, but sometimes professional legal help is crucial.

Below are details about Wisconsin's OWI laws and penalties, with links to additional resources.   

Wisconsin OWI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Wisconsin OWI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 6 months / 1 year / 2 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? No
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. While FindLaw works hard to ensure the accuracy of its legal resources, it's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) require the driver to submit a valid breath sample by blowing into a tube attached to the device before it will allow the car to start. Wisconsin OWI law makes IIDs mandatory for the following types of defendants:

  • Repeat OWI offenders
  • First-time OWI offenders with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher
  • Drivers who refuse to provide a breath or blood sample after a traffic stop
Individuals who choose not to drive after being ordered by a judge to have IIDs installed on their vehicles still are required to comply. Those with an income of 150 percent of the official poverty level are required to pay half of the costs of an IID.

Wisconsin DUI Resources

Charged with an OWI? Get Help From a Wisconsin Attorney

Even if you acknowledge that you were in fact driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, it's always in your best interests to come to court prepared. And if there were errors in your breath test or the police violated protocol, the charges against you probably won't stick. An experienced Wisconsin OWI attorney can help you level the playing field and get the best possible outcome. 

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DUI Laws & Resources

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