Wisconsin’s Underage OWI Laws and Penalties

The consequences of underage drinking and driving in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” law prohibits any driver under the age of 21 years old from operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol. An underage driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.0% but less than .08% can be convicted of an underage OWI.

Penalties

An underage OWI typically doesn’t carry jail time but can lead to fines and demerit points.

Fines. For an underage OWI, the court will generally order a fine of $200. If the driver had a passenger under the age of 16, the fine will be $400.

Points. A driver convicted of underage OWI will receive four demerit points on his or her driving record.

Breathalyzer

A driver who’s lawfully arrested for suspected underage OWI is required to submit to a breathalyzer if requested to do by an officer. The failure or refusal of this test will result in license-related penalties.

Test failure. Underage drivers who produce a BAC of anything over 0.0% face a three-month suspension. If the driver had a passenger under 16 years old, the suspension will be six months. However, a driver with a BAC of .08% or more will likely face a standard OWI charge and more severe penalties.

Test refusal. An underage driver who refuses testing faces a six-month suspension. The suspension is 12 months if the driver had a passenger under 16 years old. If a driver refuses testing, the officer might still be able to obtain a warrant for a forced blood draw. If the results of the blood test show an unlawful BAC, the underage driver will have two suspensions—one for test failure and one for refusal—that will run back-to-back.

Restricted license. A driver suspended for underage OWI is immediately eligible to obtain a restricted license. This license can be used to drive to work, school, and treatment, but only with an installed ignition interlock device. A driver suspended for refusing testing must complete 15 days of the suspension before being eligible for a restricted license.

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