If you are pulled over for operating while intoxicated (sometimes called a Wisconsin DUI) in the state of Wisconsin, you will likely be issued two citations. The first citation is simply for the OWI offense. The second citation is for having a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC). This means that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. The two tickets carry identical penalties. The state of Wisconsin does not require you to be actively driving while drunk to be arrested for an OWI. The law states that if you are physically manipulating or have started a vehicle while you have alcohol in your system, you can be arrested for a Wisconsin OWI. This law applies even if the vehicle is broken and cannot be driven.OWI Arrests in Wisconsin
When you are arrested for a Wisconsin OWI you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. You have the right to refuse to take this test, but doing so can be used against you when you face your court case. Also, refusing to take the BAC test means that you will automatically lose your license, no matter what the outcome of your court case.
After your arrest, you will face both a criminal court case and an administrative hearing. However, you must request the administrative hearing within 10 days of the date your tickets were issued. If you do not correctly request this hearing, you will automatically have your license suspended. Having a lawyer working with you will ensure that you make the appeal correctly and have the chance to argue for your right to drive.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
In order to be considered a first time OWI offender in the state of Wisconsin, you cannot have any OWI convictions on your record within the past 10 years. If you are a first time offender, you can expect to face the following consequences:
First time offenders do not face jail time unless there are other circumstances surrounding their arrests. If you are convicted of a subsequent OWI offense within a 10-year period, you will face stricter consequences, including possible jail time. OWI Wisconsin first offense will be considered as a lighter violation as compared to more than twice of same violation for the past few years.License Suspensions for Wisconsin OWI
Your Wisconsin OWI conviction will not just cost you money and time, but it will also cost you your right to drive. The typical license suspension times are as follows:
First time offenders can apply for an occupational driver's license immediately after their conviction. This license will allow you to drive to and from work, school, and any required assessment or education programs required by the court. You are limited to 12 hours a day of driving time. Your lawyer can help you apply for this license.Insurance Consequences
Once you are eligible to get your license back after serving your suspension time, you will have to prove that you have insurance. However, as a result of your Wisconsin OWI conviction, your insurance rates will go up, and you may even lose your coverage. If you lose your coverage, finding a new company to cover you may be difficult. Insurance companies often feel that drivers with drunk driving convictions are high-risk drivers, thus they charge them more for insurance coverage.