Unlike the first OWI offense in Wisconsin, If you have a second OWI offense within 10 years of your first offense it will be charged as a crime. Wisconsin increases the penalties for any person caught transporting a minor under the age of 16 while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
1st Offense OWI – (noncriminal)
Fine: $150-$300 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
Driving Consequences: 6-9 month revocation, IID only for >.15
Can apply immediately for occupational license
2nd Offense OWI (no prior OWI within 10 years) – (noncriminal)
Fine: $150-$300 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
Driving Consequences: 6-9 month revocation
Can apply immediately for occupational license. Absolute sobriety required.
2nd Offense OWI (OWI within 10 years) – (misdemeanor)
Fine: $350-$1,100 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
Confinement: 5 days to 6 months confinement
Driving Consequences: 12 – 18+ month revocation. Can apply for occupational license after 45 days.
3rd Offense OWI – (misdemeanor)
Fine: $600-$2,000 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
Confinement: 45 days to 1 year confinement
Driving Consequences: 2 -3 plus years revocation. Can apply for occupational license after 45 days.
4th Offense OWI – (felony)
Fine: $600-$10,000 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
Confinement: Class H Felony, 6 months to 6 years
Driving Consequences: Lifetime revocation. Can apply for occupational license after 45 days.
5th and up are Felony charges with harsher penalties than a 4 offense OWI.
Minor Under 16 in the Car:
Penalties are often doubled if a minor under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the offense. For a first OWI offense and a second OWI offense with no prior offenses in the preceding 10 years, fines are more than doubled, jail time is added, and revocation penalties are doubled.
For a second OWI offense (with prior convictions within 10 years) of offense as well as third or greater OWI offenses and causing injury while intoxicated offenses, fines/forfeitures, jail time and suspensions/revocations penalties are doubled.
For causing great bodily harm or homicide while intoxicated offenses and chemical test refusals, the revocation penalties are doubled. Penalties and the revocation are also doubled for causing great bodily harm or homicide by intoxicated use if an unborn child is in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
Was Your 2nd Offense After 10 Years from Your First?
If you have received a second offense OWI 10 years after your first offense in Wisconsin it will be a traffic ticket and not a criminal case. This means you will not face jail time. The penalties for a second offense after 10 years is a revocation of 6-9 months and a year order for an IID. You can apply immediately for an occupational driver’s license.
OWI Causing Injury
If you were charged with an OWI causing injury it will increase the severity of the penalties for your OWI. A number of variables will determine the charges.
Causing injury while OWI (no prior OWI offense)
- Fine: $300-$2,000 (plus $435 OWI surcharge)
- Confinement: 30 days-1 year
- Driving Consequences: 1- 2 years plus revocation. Can apply for occupational license after 60 days.
Causing injury while OWI (with prior OWI offense)
- Fine: Up to $10,000
- Confinement: Class H Felony, Up to 6 years confinement
- Driving consequences: 1-2+ years plus revocation. Can apply for occupational license after 60 days, except if 2 or more offenses within 5 years can apply after 1 year
Causing great bodily harm by OWI
- Fine: Up to $25,000
- Confinement: Class F Felony up to 12.5 years confinement
- Driving Consequences: 2 year+ revocation. Can apply after 120 days, except if 2 or more offenses within 5 years can apply after 1 year.
Homicide with OWI
- Fine: Up to $100,000
- Confinement: Class D Felony, up to 25 years confinement
- Driving Consequences: 5 year plus confinement. Can apply after 120 days, except if 2 or more offenses within 5 years can apply after 1 year.
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Huber Work Release
Huber is a privilege that allows an inmate to go to work while they are incarcerated. The judge must grant Huber and then the jail will verify the employment and determine whether all requirements are met. If your OWI case requires a confinement sentence Bayer Law Firm will help you get Huber work release if you are eligible for it.
Electronic Monitoring (House Arrest)
In some cases, for an OWI confinement the county jail will allow electronic monitoring. In order to determine if you are eligible for electronic monitoring they will look at the level of the offense and your personal situation. Bayer Law Firm is committed to assisting you with all incarceration issues including electronic monitoring and Huber work release.
Breathalyzer in the car (IID)
If you are convicted of a criminal OWI charge you will be subject to putting an IID in your vehicle(s). This is the breathalyzer device that requires you to blow into it in order to drive.
It’s important to understand that:
- The court will order an IID on any repeat offender (2nd offense and up), any first offender with a BAC of 0.15 or more and any person who refuses a chemical test.
- A driver subject to an IID order will have his/her Class D operating privileges restricted for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum period equal to the length of the driver’s revocation (which includes extensions for confinement and for having a minor under 16 or an unborn child in the vehicle at the time of the offense).
- The IID restriction will begin on the date the driver obtains any license (including occupational license) in Wisconsin.
- The IID order also requires the installation of IIDs on every vehicle titled or registered in the driver’s name, unless undue financial hardship would result.
- Courts can require the vehicle order to begin immediately. Courts will charge a $50 IID Surcharge when issuing IID orders.
- A 24/7 sobriety program may be substituted for IID participation, if court approved.
Anyone whose operating privileges have been suspended or revoked may apply for an occupational license to drive between home and work or school. Obtaining an occupational license will require payment of $240 ($50 reinstatement fee + $140 OWI-related fee + $40 occupational fee license + $10 license issuance fee). No occupational license may be issued to an offender who fails to pay $50 IID surcharge. Anyone with two or more suspensions, revocations or convictions counted under must complete assessment and be in compliance with a driver safety plan and submit proof of the IID installed to be eligible for an occupational license.
Waiting period for occupational driver’s license:
If you have an OWI criminal conviction in the state of Wisconsin, except for a 1st offense or 2nd offense after 10 years, there is a waiting period before you can get an occupational driver’s license. This time period can range from 45 – 120 days depending on the offense.
John Bayer grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After graduating with his B.A in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006, John earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School in 2009. He continued to go on and passed the California State Bar Exam.
Schedule a free consultation with Bayer Law Offices online or by phone at (414) 939-9650 to plan your next steps today.