When can Wisconsin’s lifetime revocation law take effect?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Drunk Driving, Owi

Operating a vehicle while under the influence (OWI) is a grave offense, resulting in various consequences based on the situation. These penalties can range from fines and mandatory treatment programs to imprisonment. Another sanction that can address these incidents is license revocation. It could be an effective way to keep OWI drivers off the road, especially if they have a long history of committing the same violation repetitively.

Sometimes, the revocation can last a long time, even permanently, depending on the circumstances. Still, penalties for OWI should be proportionate to the offense’s severity. A lifetime revocation may only apply in the following scenarios:

  • The OWI driver has a criminal record with at least four violations related to impairment associated with alcohol or other substances. In Wisconsin, this includes all offenses: suspended, revoked or convicted. The court may count them if they happened within 15 years of the last incident.
  • The OWI driver has at least two impairment-related offenses and receives two qualifying convictions within a 25-year duration. These convictions include certain homicide charges caused by negligent, reckless or intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and specific felonies involving the operation of an automobile.

If someone receives a lifetime revocation sanction, they could become unable to request an occupational license. Other penalties may also be relevant, often varying from case to case.

Approaching OWI violations and penalties appropriately

Many considerations can affect what happens next after committing an OWI offense. Some cases can be straightforward, leading to penalties that are accurately proportionate to the violation. Other times, drivers can receive excessive sanctions that seem too much, considering the circumstances. In these instances, seeking legal counsel can be vital in helping determine appropriate approaches and remedies to address issues with potential impact on the case’s outcome.

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