Wisconsin OWI Laws
A Wisconsin operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense can result in much more than fines – your future and even freedom are at stake. Those who choose to plead guilty to drunk driving often find themselves sentenced to expensive court fees, a suspended driver's license, incarceration and much more. Fortunately, an arrest does not equal a conviction, and it may be possible to successfully fight off your OWI charge.
Act Swiftly – Or Risk Your Driving Privileges
OWI arrests are punishable by both administrative and criminal penalties. Because driving is regarded as a privilege, the State has the authority to take your driver's license way upon arrest for drunk driving—or if you refuse to participate in the breath or blood test. You do have 10 days to request an administrative license hearing, but failure to act within this tight time frame will result in the automatic suspension of your license. A seasoned OWI attorney can handle this administrative matter to ensure your appeal is filed before the deadline.
OWI and Your BAC
Under Wisconsin law, having a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08% is enough to be charged with violating the state's prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) laws—even if your ability to drive was not actually compromised. There is a .02% BAC limit for fourth and higher offenses. In addition, minors under 21 who violate the Zero Tolerance law by having even one drink can be charged with OWI and sentenced to fines and a driver's license suspension.
Potential Consequences for a Conviction
The penalties for an OWI conviction depend on the number of prior offenses on your record. While you may escape a jail sentence for your first conviction, jail time is a requirement for each subsequent offense. Other potential penalties could include fines, an alcohol assessment, community service, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. But that's not all—you will also acquire a criminal record that could have an impact on your future employment as well as your ability to leave the country or secure custody of your children.
Invest in Your Future by Hiring an Experienced Attorney Today
When you're facing a criminal offense—like OWI—having an experienced legal team on your side is imperative. With specialized training in OWI evidence, the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood have the knowledge and credentials necessary to take on your case. In fact, Attorney Tracey A. Wood was the first of two attorneys in Wisconsin ever to be appointed to the National College of DUI Defense's Board of Regents and was the first female attorney appointed to that Board throughout the country.
Avoiding the repercussions associated with an OWI charge is possible, but you need to act promptly. For information on the next steps you should take at this critical time, please complete our convenient online form for a free, no-obligation analysis of your case.