Wisconsin Drunk Driving Penalties
Wisconsin DUI Penalties are complicated and subject to change. As you would expect, the penalties increase significantly for each additional DUI offense you have on your record. Among the many possible penalties are: jail time; probation; fines; license suspension/revocation; mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment; installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, or vehicle immobilization or forfeiture.
Wisconsin DUI Penalties change drastically from county to county. For accurate information on the penalties you face if you have been charged with a Milwaukee or Germantown DUI, you should consult an experienced Milwaukee Wisconsin DUI attorney.
First Drunk Driving Offense
Most people facing a first offense want to know if they will have to go to jail if convicted. The answer is no. A first offense is not a crime; it is a traffic violation. You cannot be sentenced to jail unless you had a passenger in your vehicle under the age of 16 at the time of the violation. If you did have a minor in the vehicle the charge will be elevated to a Misdemeanor. Your driver’s license will be suspended for six to nine months, but you will be eligible for an occupational driver’s license immediately. In addition, you will incur a variety of stiff financial penalties. An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is not required for a first offense unless your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than .15.
A DUI, even a first offense, is expensive. You will be subject to fines in the hundreds of dollars and a driver improvement surcharge. Additional charges may include court costs, towing and impound fees for your vehicle, an alcohol assessment fee, an application fee for an occupational driver’s license, license reinstatement fees, drastically increased premiums for SR-22 Insurance, and attorney’s fees. The total amount is likely to run in the thousands of dollars.
Second and Third Drunk Driving Offenses
Second and third offenses are misdemeanors. Jail time can range from a five days to up to a year. License revocations run from a year to several years. And fines can be in the thousands of dollars. Plus, you will be subject to the additional charges mentioned above.
After a waiting period, you are entitled to apply for an Occupational Driver’s License. You will be required at your own expense to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Fourth, Fifth and Subsequent Drunk Driving Offenses
As of January 1st, 2017, Fourth and subsequent convictions are felonies that carry the potential for significant prison terms and fines of tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction or guilty plea may have serious adverse consequences on other important areas of your life including, employment opportunities, ability to obtain professional and other types of licenses, child custody arrangements, eligibility for military enlistment, and even foreign travel.
You must consider the overall consequences of an Wisconsin DUI / OWI. If you are convicted of a DUI, the conviction will stay on your record for life. Contact your Wisconsin DUI Lawyer at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. to discuss your options moving forward.
Because the consequences of a Wisconsin DUI conviction can be severe and far-reaching, obtaining help from a qualified Milwaukee DUI lawyer is imperative. When dealing with the criminal justice system, you want the best possible advocates in your corner. The DUI defense attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen are well respected for their thorough preparation and skilled representation of DUI defendants. Wisconsin drunk driving cases can be defended. Contact a DUI defense attorney at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen for help.