DUI/OWI Laws in Wisconsin

Laws and penalties for DUI/OWI in Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, you can get a DUI/OWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Wisconsin says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Wisconsin and other details about Wisconsin DUI/OWI law.

(Check out our blood alcohol level chart for an estimate of how many drinks it takes to get to the legal limit.)

In Wisconsin, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI/OWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Wisconsin, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license revocation

2 year license revocation (offenses must be within 10 years of each other)

2 year license revocation (offenses must be within 10 years of each other)

In Wisconsin, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Wisconsin, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI/OWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI/OWI in Wisconsin, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum jail term required

5 days jail

30 days jail

How long will prior DUI/OWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, prior DUI/OWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 10 years.

Can a DUI/OWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, it's possible for a driver who's accused of drunk driving to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When a DUI is plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”

(Read more about plea bargaining in Wisconsin DUI cases and the consequences of a reckless driving conviction.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI/OWI offenders in Wisconsin?

Yes, for second and subsequent refusals and for second and subsequent DUI/OWI convictions.

Where can I get more information about DUI/OWI laws in Wisconsin?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI/OWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Wisconsin DUI/OWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

Protect Yourself. Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FACING A DUI?

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney

We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you