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OWI attorney Madison WI

First Offense OWI in Wisconsin | OWI Defense Attorney WI

Don’t Shrug Off a First Offense OWI in Wisconsin

There’s a commonly-held belief among Wisconsin drivers that a first offense OWI isn’t a big deal. That perception is incorrect. Even first-time offenders can experience expensive penalties and life-changing consequences as a result of an OWI.

As a civil offense, first time OWI penalties in Wisconsin may include any or all of the following:

  • 6 to 9 months driver’s license suspension.
  • $150 to $300 in fines.
  • A $365 OWI surcharge.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirements if over a certain BAC level.
  • Mandatory Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment (AODA).
  • Higher insurance rates and SR22 verification if given high-risk driver status.
  • A $200 OWI suspension reinstatement fee when applying for a new driver or occupational license.

All of the penalties mentioned above increase substantially if the ticket was issued with a minor under 16 in the car. Drivers can also be convicted of OWI even if their BAC is within the legal limit. As long as a court rules that the driver was incapable of safe driving, the driver will face the same penalties as an OWI conviction for drivers over the legal limit.

Facts About First Offense OWI in Wisconsin

  • OWI stands for “Operating While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant.” This is a broad term that encompasses the more commonly understood “drunk driving” offense.
  • The terms OWI, DUI, DWI, BAC, and PAC are synonymous and apply to the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and controlled substances or other intoxicants.
  • First Offense OWIs can stay on your driving record forever.
  • You will be required to carry an SR-22 vehicle liability insurance document for at least 3 years, which will likely result in higher insurance rates during that time period and for several years after.

Legal Defense Against First OWI Can Help Your Situation

Although receiving a first offense OWI in Wisconsin can be unexpected and stressful, it should never be brushed off as inconsequential. The stakes are too high, particularly if you rely on your ability to drive for work. At the very least, you will be required to pay fines and will lose some driving privileges while having the offense become part of your public record.

To ensure you are treated fairly and the fines fit the actions, contact the OWI defense team at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, WI. We will have your back, ensuring your side of the story is told and your rights protected.

Schedule a free case consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing today.