How do ignition interlock devices work in Wisconsin?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | Owi

In many OWI cases, a conviction can include a driver’s license revocation lasting several months or even a few years. Ignition interlock devices allow drivers with revoked licenses to continue operating their vehicles within limitations.

If you are facing an OWI charge, learning about the use of ignition interlock devices in Wisconsin can help you navigate your case and the potential outcomes.

OWI laws in Wisconsin

It is not legal to operate a motor vehicle in Wisconsin if you have a blood alcohol concentration over .08% or are otherwise intoxicated. The penalties for an OWI are more severe if you have a prior record. Furthermore, reckless driving, high blood alcohol concentration and driving with minor passengers can result in harsher consequences. Using prescription or recreational drugs can also cause intoxication, especially if combined with alcohol. If a court convicts you of an OWI, you might have to pay fines and attend treatment. Multiple offenses can lead to jail time.

Ignition interlock devices

An OWI conviction typically also includes a revocation of your driver’s license. In order to drive to work, school and other essential activities, you can apply for a hardship license to use your vehicle. Additionally, if your BAC was very high or you have prior OWI charges, the court can order you to use an ignition interlock device. These tools measure alcohol levels on your breath. You must have a BAC below .02 to start your car. You can lease the device, and it is possible to qualify for reduced fees if you have a lower income.

Wisconsin uses ignition interlock devices to prevent drivers with OWI convictions from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

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