Updated on February 5th, 2024 at 08:51 pm

An arrest for a first offense Wisconsin OWI can be scary. Suddenly all sorts of questions are running through your head.  Will I go to jail? How much will this cost?  Do I get to keep my license?  Will I lose my job?  Do I need to get an attorney?  While it may be stressful, knowing the penalties for a first offense Wisconsin OWI can be helpful.

Wisconsin owi 1st offense jail time

A first offense Wisconsin OWI will not result in jail time.  A Wisconsin OWI first offense is a traffic violation and not a criminal charge.  However, if the driver has a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of arrest, they will face 5 days to 6 months of jail time.

First offense driver’s license suspension

A first time WI OWI offender will face 6-9 months of suspended or revoked operating privileges.  During this time, you may apply for an Occupational license.  By obtaining an occupational license, you may drive your vehicle during specified hours in order to get to and from work and maintain daily household necessities (i.e. grocery shopping, attending children’s activities, etc.).  If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is over .15, then an Ignition Interlock Device must be installed for the duration of an holding an occupational license.

Will a first offense impact my job?

This is not an easy question to answer.  Each job is a little different, but a first offense Wisconsin OWI may affect your job.  Working around a driving schedule with an occupational license may put stressors on the job.  Maybe you are in school: Are you going to be a nurse or doctor?  Want to be a police officer or political figure?  Going to graduate school?  Having a Wisconsin OWI First Offense on your record could change your future.

Should i get an attorney for a first offense operating while intoxicated?

Yes, but don’t just hire any criminal defense attorney.  Hire OWI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen.  Attorney Dineen practices 100% OWI Defense in Wisconsin.  He is a Certified Field Sobriety Test Instructor and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).  Contact Wisconsin OWI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.

Nathan J. Dineen