In Wisconsin, the penalties for operating while intoxicated (OWI) increase with each subsequent offense in an effort to deter people from committing similar crimes in the future. The sentence for a third OWI offense is especially harsh, and includes much higher fines and court costs, increased jail time, and a longer driver’s license revocation. Fortunately, just being arrested for a third drunk-driving offense is not enough to be convicted, especially if you have an attorney on your side who is well-versed in the state’s OWI laws.
Wisconsin considers OWI’s committed from 1989 and forward for purposes of counting with third offenses and higher. If found guilty of a third OWI, you could be sentenced to a minimum of 45 days and a maximum of one year in jail, fines ranging from $600-$2,000 (plus a $365 OWI surcharge), an alcohol assessment, and a two- to three-year license revocation. You will also be required to mount an ignition interlock device in your car or the state may seize your vehicle.
Transporting a minor while under the influence could result in ever harsher consequences. If convicted of this offense, you may be incarcerated for a period of 90 days to two years, face $1,200-$4,000 in fines, and lose your driving privileges for four to six years.
As with a second offense, you risk problems in your personal life. For example, your insurer will more than likely raise your insurance premiums or even terminate your policy altogether. In addition, asking for time off of work to serve your jail sentence could cause problems with your employer, thereby threatening your livelihood.
The stakes are high when you’re facing a third OWI offense, but the prosecution must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty in order to secure a conviction. At Tracey Wood & Associates, our attorneys understand the science behind the breath machine (the EC/IR II), blood tests, and field sobriety tests inside and out, allowing them to carefully develop a defense strategy that could minimize the impact an OWI charge has on your life.
Don’t face an OWI charge on your own! Contact our firm today for a case evaluation by completing our online form now.