Difference between Current and Proposed Laws
New Wisconsin OWI laws are being proposed by Rep. Jim Ott and Sen. Alberta Darling to increase the penalties for drunk driving in Wisconsin. Wisconsin drunk driving laws are more relaxed compared to other states. By toughening the laws, these legislators hope to lower the amount of intoxicated drivers and have fewer repeat offenders.
Wisconsin OWI First Offense
Current: A Wisconsin first offense is a municipal court violation (aka: traffic citation). A first time offender does not face jail time, has a fine ranging from $150-$300, and 6-9 months license suspension. A person’s appearance at the court hearing is optional.
New: The proposed new laws would make court appearances mandatory. This would still be considered a municipal violation unless the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is a .15 or greater, making this first offense a criminal charge. The fine would range from $350-$1,100 and jail time of 5 days to six months.
Second Offense Wisconsin DUI
Current: A Wisconsin second offense drunk driving charge currently hold a fine of $350-$1,100 and jail time of 5 days to six months.
New: With the proposed law changes, the fine would increase to $500-$1,500 and have jail time of 10 days to six months.
Wisconsin DUI Third Offense
Current: Currently a third WI DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor charge. The fines range from $600-$2,000, jail time of 45 days to one year, and license suspension for 2-3 years.
New: The proposed new laws make a third offense a felony charge. The lower range of fine and jail time remains the same, but the high range is at the discretion of the court, with no cap on the maximum amount. The cars used by the offender would be seized.
Additional Changes with Proposed Wisconsin OWI Laws
There are proposed mandatory minimum sentences for causing injury or causing death while driving drunk. The new law changes would require a minimum of six months in jail if a drunk driver caused injury to another person. If the driver kills another person while driving drunk, the sentence would be a minimum of 10 years in prison. The court could lessen these sentences if the person injured or killed was the passenger in the driver’s car.
Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen practices 100% DUI Defense and keeps up to date with any and all changes related to Wisconsin DUI charges. He is a certified Field Sobriety Test Instructor and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE). Contact Attorney Dineen at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.