Despite the commonly-held idea that a person's first drunk driving offense isn't a "big deal," it can bring life-changing consequences, not all of which may be apparent at first.
What's more, very few people realize that they can be convicted even if they were driving within the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. If the court determines a driver was "incapable of safely driving," while under the influence of any amount of alcohol, the penalties are the same.
Your first offense OWI in Wisconsin is a misdemeanor and can bring the following penalties:
- Driver's license suspension (six to nine months)
- A fine between $150 and $300
- An additional $365 OWI surcharge
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirements if over a certain BAC level
- Mandatory Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment (AODA)
- Occupational license allowed for eligible drivers (IID required)
- Higher insurance rates and SR22 verification if given high-risk driver status
In addition to the penalties listed above, you'll likely need to pay an additional OWI suspension reinstatement fee of $200 when you reapply for a new driver's or occupational license.
All of these penalties increase significantly –– usually double ––for those who were pulled over with a minor under the age of 16 in the car.
Answers to common questions about first offense OWI in Wisconsin
- "How long will my first offense OWI conviction stay on my record?"
In Wisconsin, this can stay on your record forever. The best way to protect your record and is with the help of an experienced drunk driving attorney. Contact me today.
- "How long will an OWI conviction in Wisconsin affect my car insurance rates?"
In Wisconsin, you’re required to maintain an SR22 for at least three years after your OWI conviction, and you will likely pay higher insurance rates for five years after your conviction.
Need an experienced attorney to protect you and your record from the consequences of an OWI conviction? Contact me today to request a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your case.