Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Wisconsin, as it is in most states.
If you face a DUI charge, it is essential to understand the potential consequences of a conviction.
Consequences for first-time DUI offenders
For those facing their first DUI charge, Wisconsin considers it a civil offense rather than a criminal one. First-time offenders can expect a fine ranging from $150 to $300, plus additional court costs. While jail time is not typical for a first offense, the court can still impose it in some circumstances.
A first-time DUI conviction also comes with a driver’s license suspension of six to nine months. Offenders may have the option to apply for an occupational license, which allows them to drive to and from work or school during the suspension period. Additionally, the court may require an ignition interlock device for those with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher.
Increased penalties for repeat DUI offenders
Wisconsin takes repeat DUI offenses very seriously, and the penalties become more severe with each subsequent conviction. For a second offense, individuals can face fines between $350 and $1,100, a jail sentence ranging from five days to six months and a driver’s license suspension of 12 to 18 months. An ignition interlock device is mandatory for all repeat offenders.
The penalties continue to increase with each subsequent offense, with third-time offenders facing fines of up to $2,000, jail sentences of up to one year and license suspensions of two to three years. Fourth-time and subsequent offenders face even harsher penalties, including increased fines, longer jail sentences and more extended license suspensions. In some cases, after a fourth DUI offense, drivers can receive a felony charge, with a potential prison sentence of up to six years.
Being aware of the potential punishments for a DUI in Wisconsin can serve as a strong deterrent against driving under the influence. It is crucial to remember that the consequences of a DUI go beyond just the legal penalties; it can also impact your personal and professional life.