Updated on February 3rd, 2021 at 10:49 pm


Wisconsin has some of the weakest penalties for drunk driving in comparison to other states.  Wisconsin also has one of the worst records for driving drunk.  Driving drunk is a serious matter.  In an effort to decrease the amount of drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and reduce repeat offenders, tougher penalties have been proposed.  The State Assembly voted this week to pass bills with tougher OWI penalties.  The State Senate will now review the bills.

What Tougher OWI Penalties Mean for You

Current laws do not define a first offense OWI in Wisconsin as a crime.  This ticket must be paid but does not require a court appearance.  Under the tougher penalties, a first offense Wisconsin OWI will have a required court appearance.

Currently, a second Wisconsin OWI offense is treated as a first offense, if the first OWI occurred more than ten years prior.  The new penalties would make all second offense OWI convictions misdemeanors.

Right now a fourth offense OWI is considered a misdemeanor if the prior offense occurred more than five year before.  The tougher penalties will consider all fourth offense Wisconsin OWI convictions felonies.

Changes Made for Ignition Interlock Devices

Ignition Interlock Devices are required for second OWI offenses and each additional offense, with the exception of first offense OWI charges where the driver has a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or more.  This will remain; however, the new tougher penalties will prohibit people driving vehicles which do not have the Ignition Interlock Device installed.

Hire Wisconsin OWI Defense Attorney Nathan J. Dineen

If you have been charged with a Wisconsin OWI, contact Wisconsin OWI Defense Attorney Nathan J. Dineen for a Free Case Review.  Attorney Dineen has offices located in Milwaukee, Germantown, West Bend, Appleton, and Sister Bay, WI for the convenience of his clients.  WI OWI Defense Attorney Nathan Dineen knows that being arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense can be stressful.  Attorney Dineen works with his clients to reach the best possible outcome, and helps to ease the stress.  Call 877-384-6800 to hire Attorney Dineen.