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second offense owi charges

OWI Charges with Minors in the Vehicle

OWI charges and penalties escalate with minors in your vehicle

In Wisconsin, being charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) carries significant consequences. If you are charged with an OWI with a child under 16 in the car with you, though, the penalties go up quickly. Any time you are arrested and charged with an OWI, especially if children are present, you need to contact an attorney to help with your legal defense.

Not Just Drunk Driving

OWI is much broader than just alcohol. Anything that the state of Wisconsin considers a controlled substance can trigger a charge of OWI. This includes alcohol, illegal drugs like cocaine or heroine, or even some legal pain medications and muscle relaxants. If you operate a vehicle while you are under the influence of any drug or medication, you risk arrest for OWI.

If you are alone, your first offense for OWI comes with a fine of between $150 and $300. You may have to go through mandatory alcohol or drug assessment or even get an ignition lock installed on your vehicle. Even if you are taking legal, prescribed drugs, these penalties can kick in.

When a Minor Is with You

While these penalties may already seem severe, they rise quickly if you have a child present in the vehicle. If you are charged with OWI with a child under age 16 in the vehicle, the fine increases to between $350 and $1,100. You also face jail time of up to six months, and can lose your driver’s license. A second or later offense for OWI will raise the stakes even more for you. 

Being charged with OWI in Wisconsin can impact your life significantly. Incurring those charges while you have a child in the car with you ratchets up that impact significantly. You cannot afford to face these charges by yourself. Working with the experienced defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices gives you the best chance to defend against these serious charges. Contact us today to learn more.