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What Are the DUI Consequences for a First-Time Offender?

Consuming alcohol or drugs and operating a motor vehicle in Wisconsin often results in a DUI or OWI conviction.

The consequences depend on the circumstances and the severity of the crime, and courts impose harsher penalties for repeat offenders.

First-Time DUI Punishment in Wisconsin

Even if it is your first OWI, Wisconsin law spells out serious legal repercussions:

  • High-risk driver status requiring a costly additional insurance policy
  • Fines from $150 to $300 plus $435 OWI surcharge
  • Driver’s license suspension from six to nine months
  • Mandated Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment and associated fees

Additionally, if your BAC was 0.15 or above at the time of your arrest, then a judge may also impose a 12-month, 24/7 sobriety program as well as mandatory ignition interlock device installation. The penalties for not complying with the court’s orders include $600 to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

Special factors such as having a minor in the car or causing an accident that results in injury or death can lead to increased punishments for DUI and OWI offenders.

Collateral Penalties of a DUI Conviction

Many people facing DUI or OWI charges do not consider the non-legal consequences of having a conviction on their criminal records. The collateral punishments can include loss of professional licenses, difficulty securing housing, school suspension or immigration issues.

In Wisconsin, a night on the town followed by the poor decision to get behind the wheel can cost you tens of thousands of dollars, and you may deal with the aftermath for the rest of your life.