How do injuries affect the penalties for OWI in Wisconsin?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Owi

Understanding how injuries affect the penalties for operating while intoxicated is important for anyone facing impaired driving charges. When an OWI results in injuries to others, the legal consequences can become more severe.

In Wisconsin, the severity of penalties for OWI offenses involving injuries depends on various factors.

Enhanced penalties

OWI offenses that result in injuries to others can lead to enhanced penalties. This reflects the increased risk and harm caused by impaired driving. Those convicted of OWI causing injury may face higher fines. They may also face longer license suspensions and jail sentences compared to standard OWI offenses. The severity of penalties may escalate based on the severity of injuries and whether the driver has prior OWI convictions. Other aggravating factors may also impact the case.

Aggravating factors

In addition to the injuries sustained, courts consider aggravating factors when determining penalties for OWIs. These might include excessive speed, reckless driving behavior, high blood alcohol concentration levels and prior OWI convictions. Courts weigh these factors when imposing penalties to ensure that they are commensurate with the severity of the offense and the level of risk posed by the driver.

Impact on sentencing and consequences

OWI offenses with injuries can have long-lasting legal consequences. In addition to facing criminal penalties, individuals may also face civil liability for damages resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. OWI convictions can also have collateral consequences. These might include increased insurance premiums, loss of driving privileges and damage to one’s reputation and employment prospects.


By understanding the ramifications of OWI offenses involving injuries, drivers can recognize the importance of sober and responsible driving behavior to prevent harm to themselves and others on the roadways.

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