There are a variety of penalties that generally go along with an OWI conviction. One is a fine. Even a first-offense conviction of OWI carries a monetary penalty. Under Wisconsin law, a monetary penalty of $150 to $300 is to be given to first-time OWI offenders.
Now, $300 is far from the largest fine a person could face in relation to OWI. Rather, depending on their circumstances, the max fine a person convicted of drunk driving could face could be astronomically higher. For one, the fines are higher for repeat offenders, with the fine levels going up with the number of prior OWIs they have.
For some individuals with past OWI convictions, another such conviction could mean facing the possibility of a fine in the tens of thousands of dollars. Currently, here in Wisconsin, the highest max fine for the offense of OWI is $25,000. This is currently the max fine for individuals convicted of their 7th OWI or greater.
However, at the start of next year, there will be a higher possible max OWI fine. This is because, come January 1, a 10th OWI or greater is being raised from a Class F felony to a Class E felony. The max fine for a Class E felony is $50,000.
As this underscores, massive financial consequences are among the major ramifications another drunk driving conviction can have for individuals who have past OWIs on their record. Individuals here in Wisconsin who are accused of repeat OWI offenses should consider promptly talking to a skilled defense lawyer about their options for fighting the impactful charges they are facing.
Sources: Wisconsin State Legislature, “Wisconsin Statutes - 346.65 - Penalty for violating sections 346.62 to 346.64.,” Accessed Sept. 27, 2016
Wisconsin State Legislature, “Wisconsin Statutes - 939.50 - Classification of felonies.,” Accessed Sept. 27, 2016