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Your Guide to an OWI Charge in Wisconsin September 23, 2019

Platteville, Grant
Your Guide to an OWI Charge in Wisconsin, Platteville, Wisconsin

If you are facing an OWI charge, you’re likely concerned about the future. From fines and license revocations to potential jail time, the possibilities alone are overwhelming. The first step to improving your circumstances is learning more about this traffic violation, as well as its consequences. Use the following guide to get in the know.

What Is an OWI?

In Wisconsin, OWI stands for “operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” You may be charged with this traffic violation if you are asked to take a breathalyzer test and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.8%. You may also be charged with an OWI if authorities find a restricted controlled substance in your blood, or if you are under the influence of any other substances that make it unsafe to drive.

What Are the Penalties?

traffic violationIf it is your first time with this traffic violation in Wisconsin, you likely won’t face jail time, but you will have to pay a fine between $150 and $300. If convicted, the court will revoke your license for six to nine months.

However, the penalties for an OWI get more severe after repeat offenses. A second offense could land you five days to six months of jail time, and up to $1,100 in fines. A third offense could result in 45 days to one year in jail, and $600 to $2,000 in fines.

If you were driving with a passenger under 16, all your penalties would increase drastically. If you had an excessive BAC, the court can double, triple, or quadruple your fines. You may also be required to use an ignition interlock device for at least a year after reinstating your license. This device prevents your car from starting until you breathe into the breathalyzer.


If you were charged with this traffic violation and are worried about the penalties you face, turn to Scott & Heenan for help. This trusted team of OWI attorneys has been serving Platteville, WI, clients for over 50 years, and they will work hard to help you build a sound defense strategy. To learn more about their other practice areas, including personal injury, visit the website. You can also call (608) 348-9506 to schedule a free consultation.