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What to know about a third OWI offense in Wisconsin

One arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence is one too many. However, many people around Wisconsin get far more than one OWI. Police recently arrested one woman in Menasha for her sixth OWI, with her last offense going back to 2007. 

Most people will not have to worry about getting six OWIs in their lifetime. However, many drivers end up getting a third. After two OWIs, you need to do everything in your power to avoid driving drunk because the penalties worsen with each additional offense. Here is what you need to know about a third OWI conviction. 

Penalties

For a third OWI conviction, a person may face anywhere between 45 days and one year in jail. A person may face even more jail time if his or her blood alcohol concentration is over 0.17. Fines can range from $600 and $2,000, and this does not even include the $435 driver improvement surcharge. Additionally, if someone in the vehicle is under the age of 16, the fines can double. 

The person may lose driving privileges for two to three years. You may still be able to apply for an occupational license, which allows you to drive for certain pre-approved events. The court will also require you to install an ignition interlock device, so your vehicle will not start unless you can prove your sobriety. 

Additional consequences

In addition to all the above, a third OWI conviction will result in higher auto insurance and health insurance rates. You will need to take a substantial amount of time off work, and you may jeopardize your ability to do your job if it requires you to drive from place to place. You should do everything to fight these charges, regardless of whether it is your first or third arrest.

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