In Wisconsin, courts use sentencing guidelines unique to each judicial district when determining a sentence following an OWI conviction.

These guidelines identify many of the important criteria considered when imposing a sentence, however, judges have discretion in evaluating the facts and circumstances of each case when determining a particular sentence.

Wisconsin's OWI sentencing guidelines do not require any specific sentence outside of the mandatory minimums established by statute and any aggravating or mitigating factors may impact the judge's sentencing decisions.

The facts and circumstances of each case are considered before a sentence is determined.

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Wisconsin OWI Sentencing Guidelines Differ Between Counties

Different counties in Wisconsin may have different penalty structures for OWIs depending on the judicial district they reside in. Each county circuit court is grouped into nine judicial districts.

Each of these districts have their own OWI sentencing guidelines based on state statutes. Again, these guidelines help the court determine a particular OWI sentence.  

See Also: Wisconsin OWI Penalties Chart

Find Your County's OWI Sentencing Guidelines

Wisconsin's OWI sentencing guidelines present different penalty ranges and fines. Using the linked resources below, you can find information about penalties for, as an example, a particular BAC level.

Other consequences and provisions may also be presented, such as potential forfeitures, court costs, penalties for incidents involving a minor, surcharges, and ignition interlock devices (among others).

Note: For offenses committed before the most current sentencing guidelines listed below (as of December 19, 2023), as well as OAR sentencing guidelines, visit the State Bar of Wisconsin's reference page here.

1st Judicial District

Milwaukee County 

On or After January 1, 2017 (PDF via »


2nd Judicial District

Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties

On or After January 1, 2022 (PDF via »


3rd Judicial District

Jefferson, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, and Dodge (formerly 6th district) counties

On or After March 1, 2020 (PDF via »


4th Judicial District

Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Winnebago, Green Lake (formerly 6th district), Marquette (formerly 6th district), and Waushara (formerly 6th district) counties

On or After June 1, 2018 (PDF via »


5th Judicial District

Dane, Green, Rock, Lafayette, Columbia (formerly 6th district), and Sauk (formerly 6th district) counties

On or After July 3, 2018 (PDF via »


7th Judicial District

Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Clark (formerly 6th district), Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau (formerly 6th district), Adams (formerly 6th district), Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Grant, and Iowa counties

On or After July 7, 2023 (PDF via »


8th Judicial District

Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, and Waupaca counties

After January 1, 2022 (PDF via »


9th Judicial District

Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Portage (formerly 6th district), Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, and Wood (formerly 6th district) counties

On or After July 6, 2023 (PDF via »


10th Judicial District

Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, and Washburn counties

On or After January 1, 2017 (PDF via »


Statewide Operating After Revocation (OAR) and Operating While Suspended (OWS) Guidelines

On or After December 1, 2018 (PDF via »

Next Steps if You've Been Arrested for OWI in Wisconsin

Since these guidelines and other critical details concerning OWI in Wisconsin are complex, it's absolutely critical to engage with an experienced OWI defense attorney with a deep understanding of these sentencing guidelines and how each county handles their OWI cases. 

Attorney Stangl has a proven record of success defending Wisconsin OWI cases, including those with enhancements, as well as all types of criminal cases in both State and Federal Courts.

FREE 10-Minute Legal Consultation

Madison attorney, Pat Stangl, is happy to extend to you a free, no-obligation 10-minute consultation to help you explore your options and obtain the best results.


Madison OWI Attorney Patrick J. Stangl, is committed to exploring options for your best defense and has been defending clients across the state since 1991. To this end, he is pleased to offer at no-obligation a FREE 10-minute consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and take the first step in putting this stressful time behind you.

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