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

Receiving a Wisconsin OWI is a serious matter. A second OWI offense in Wisconsin is a criminal charge with harsher penalties than the conviction of a first offense. Because of the strict consequences, when you’re charged with an OWI, you should If you have charged with a second drunk driving offense contact an experienced OWI defense lawyer to help.

For quality representation, contact Nathan J. Dineen, Attorney at Law for a free consultation and creation of a defense strategy.

What is a second owi in Wisconsin?

A 2nd OWI in Wisconsin is any DUI/OWI offense that you’re charged with within ten years of the first conviction. While the first OWI is a civil offense, the second OWI is aimage of a man driving with a beer in his hand misdemeanor with serious potential penalties.

Second owi penalties

When you’re convicted of a 2nd OWI offense, you’ll face consequences, including jail term, fines, insurance surcharges, loss of a driver’s license, and installation of an ignition interlock device.

Jail time

A second-time drunk driving offender in Wisconsin will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 5 days and a maximum of 6 months. This could affect your job unless you qualify for Huber work release. Despite this, spending days in jail limits the amount of time you get to spend with family or friends.

License suspension

A Wisconsin second-offense drunk driving charge carries a license suspension or revocation penalty of 12 to 18 months plus the time spent in jail. For commercial drivers, the license revocation is twelve months, but if there’s a previous conviction, the CDL revocation is for life.

Occupational license

During your license suspension, you can get an occupational license that provides limited driving privileges for work and life necessities.

You can use the occupational license to drive to school, work, run errands, go to your place of worship, complete the Driver Safely Plan course, and honor your medical appointments.

However, an occupational license cannot be used to operate commercial motor vehicles or for recreational purposes. Moreover, the license limits driving time to 12 hours daily and 60 hours weekly.

Note: To obtain an occupational license, you have to wait for 45 days. But if this second offense occurred within five years of a previous drunk driving charge, then the waiting period is 12 months.

Mandatory ignition interlock device installation

An IID (ignition interlock device) is a small breathalyzer that’s installed in vehicles. After conviction, you must blow into the IID for a blood alcohol concentration reading when you enter your car. If the reading is 0.02 or more, the vehicle will not start. IID installation is mandatory on every vehicle you drive.

Alcohol assessment and treatment

This is a mandatory meeting with an approved private social worker or the government. The professional will determine your alcohol treatment requirements and create a Driver Safety Plan. This plan can include driver safety classes or an alcohol or drug abuse treatment. You’ll need to complete the created plan to have your driver’s license reinstated.


Once convicted of a second offense in Wisconsin, you’ll get a fine between $350 and $1,100. These fines can strain your budget, but you can get a reasonable payment plan.

Additional consequences of a 2nd owi

In addition to the legal penalties described above, you may suffer other consequences and incur extra expenses, including:

  • An SR22 high-risk car insurance
  • Higher health and life insurance rates
  • Impound fees
  • Your DNA sample is taken and added to the law enforcement database

Second owi offense faqs

Can I prevent my license from being suspended after a second dui in wisconsin?

You can have your lawyer request for an administrative review hearing on time. In this hearing, they can challenge the OWI arrest and demand to have your license returned. Your lawyer can also subpoena the police officer who arrested you and uncover bad and good evidence from the arrest.

How long does an owi stay on my record in wisconsin?

OWI remains on your public and permanent record forever. However, there are ways to get it expunged and the charges sealed.

Can I lose my job for a second owi in wisconsin?

Depending on the terms of your employment, even one OWI conviction is enough to have you lose your job.

Hire wisconsin owi defense attorney nate dineen

Attorney Dineen offers quality OWI defense in Wisconsin. He is constantly attending seminars in Wisconsin and throughout the US for defending drunk or drug-impaired driving charges. He is also a certified drug recognition evaluator and field sobriety test Instructor, qualifications that make him great at challenging arrests and OWI evidence presented in court.

If you are facing wage loss, jail time, or any other hardship because of your Wisconsin OWI second offense arrest, contact a DUI lawyer in Green Bay today at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.