Which OWI offenses in Wisconsin constitute a felony?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2021 | Owi

Wisconsin drivers who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol may incur certain penalities, but are there any laws in the state that make OWI a felony? The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation notes that a driver’s blood alcohol content does not necessarily need to measure over the legal limit to warrant an arrest, especially if the driver’s actions show that he or she is under the influence.

While some Wisconsin OWI laws impose fines and jail charges, some constitute a felony and may result in more serious punishments.

Repeat offenses

Drivers who incur more than three OWIs can find themselves facing felony charges in Wisconsin courts. Such a charge is a Class H felony in the state and may result in up to six years of jail time and loss of driver’s license.

Cause of bodily harm

Wisconsin drivers who injure others due to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol may earn a felony charge if they have a prior OWI offense or refuse to take a sobriety or chemical test. If convicted, those charged could face up to six years in jail and submit to sobriety programs for at least two years.


An OWI that results in a death is one of the most serious offenses of this type. If convicted, those accused could spend up to 40 years in jail, depending on whether they carry any previous similar offenses.

Most OWI felony charges in Wisconsin result in a loss of license, jail time and other far-reaching consequences. In most cases, the number of offenses raises the fine each time and can reach up to and including $10,000.

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