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Wisconsin OWI laws and information

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2007/01/15 19:00

You Are OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in Wisconsin if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or greater, if this is your first offense.

You probably received two tickets: One of these is the OWI ticket for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. The second is the PAC (prohibited alcohol concentration) ticket for operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Penalties for both are identical.

You have ten work days from the date the tickets were issued to request an Administrative hearing, or you license will be automatically suspended.

Are You Really A First Offender?

To qualify as a first offender, you must have had no OWI or related violation for the last ten years in any state.

First Offender Penalties

Jail

None. An OWI/PAC first offense is considered an ordinance violation. It is not criminal and jail is not a penalty.

Fines / Fees

No less than $150.00 and no more than $300.00. Court costs increase the range from roughly $650.00 to $900.00.

License Suspension

Revocation of driving privileges of no less than six months and no more than nine months.

Occupation Driver's License

You are eligible immediately for an occupational operator's license. If you are a first offender with no suspensions or revocations within the 12 months immediately prior to your application, you will probably get the occupational license.

An occupational operator's license entitles you to drive to and from work, school, alcohol assessment and counseling, and sometimes other tasks. However, you are allowed no more than 60 designated driving hours per week and no more than 12 designated hours per day. You can apply for an occupational license at the Motor Vehicle Department.

Education

Traffic Safety School: tuition ranges from $90 to $250.

Alcohol Evaluation / Treatment

Alcohol assessment and counseling is mandatory. You will pay assessment and counseling fees. The assessment is standard, but the counseling is tailored to each person. You must pay all fees and complete the counseling program to end your driving suspension.

Commercial Driver

If you have a commercial license, and were operating a commercial vehicle, you became OWI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .04% or higher.

Under 21

You are OWI if you drive with any alcohol at all in your system. You will be arrested for any BAC of .02% or greater, and will be subject to penalties similar to those of any adult first offender.

Test Refusal

Requested breath and blood tests are mandatory. If you refuse, your license will be suspended for one year, and you must wait 30 days before applying for an occupational license.

If you refuse to provide the breath, blood or urine sample requested, the officer may threaten to hold you down and may actually hold you down in order to take a blood sample, according to court rulings.

Insurance

You insurance will probably go up significantly, and your insurance carrier may drop you, forcing you to find a carrier that offer less coverage for more money. The rates for other family members, and perhaps even for your employer, may also increase.

Even Greater Penalties

Even greater penalties are applicable if your OWI involved an accident, injury, or death, or if you had a minor 16 or under in the vehicle.


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