First Offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin

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Gavel and Scales

Unfortunately, Wisconsin has more drunks behind the wheel than any other state. At least 25% of drivers in Wisconsin admitted that they had driven under the influence of alcohol. At least 45% of fatal car accidents in Wisconsin were alcohol related. Wisconsin employs differing sentencing requirements for first offense DUI charges.

Administrative Penalties

  • Drivers, pending upon arrest under suspicion of first offense DUI, will face administrative license suspension of six months, unless otherwise contested successfully at an administrative hearing. Having legal counsel during this process is essential. Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test face one-year suspension of their licenses.
  • License suspension can be reduced or modified, in the form of an occupational or hardship based license
  • Upon eligibility to reinstate, a driver must provide proof of SR-22 insurance coverage

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

Criminal Penalties

  • First offense DUI/OWI convictions in Wisconsin carry no mandatory period of incarceration
  • Fines applicable to first offense convictions range from $150 to $300, but these fines do not include costs incurred during completion of other sentencing items, such as probation requirements, alcohol testing, or defensive driving courses
  • Alcohol assessment is required in all DUI/OWI cases in Wisconsin

Getting Legal Help

The state of Wisconsin does not expressly bar reduction of DUI/OWI charges into lesser criminal offenses. A defendant or the driver’s attorney may be able to negotiate a highly favorable plea agreement, or obtain outright dismissal of charges, depending on the case-specific nature of the DUI/OWI case. Consult with a Wisconsin DUI/OWI lawyer to learn more.

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