How OWI Charges Work In Wisconsin

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) can carry steep penalties under drunk driving laws in Wisconsin, including losing your license, jail time and fines. Remember to exercise your right to speak to an OWI/DUI lawyer immediately after an arrest. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make sure law enforcement did not violate any of your rights and prepare a strong defense against the charges you face.

At Sparr, Belville & Brown, LLC, we are fiercely dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients after drunk driving charges. The legal blood alcohol concentration limit in Wisconsin is .08 for people who are 21 years of age and over. Minors under age 21 can be charged with OWI with a BAC of just .02 percent.

When Can Police Pull You Over For Suspected Drunk Driving?

Police officers can pull you over for a wide range of erratic driving behaviors such as speeding, driving too slowly, stopping for no good reason, drifting or weaving. They also may pull you over for another safety reason — for example, if your headlights are not on — and suspect you may be intoxicated only after pulling you over. The important thing to remember is that the majority of evidence against you is collected after the police pull you over. Unless a police officer watched you drink and then get into a car, they will not have proof of driving under the influence without conducting a chemical test.

Refusing A Breath Test

If you are licensed to drive in the state of Wisconsin, you have agreed to the state’s implied consent law. This means that if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you have implicitly given consent for law enforcement to administer a breath test, or take a sample of your blood or urine for testing. Refusing this chemical test can lead to losing your license, as well as higher penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving.

Increased Penalties

In addition to refusing to take a breath test, Wisconsin law imposes higher penalties for drunk driving for repeat offenders as well as for having a child under age 16 in the car.

Don’t Wait To Call For A Free Consultation After An Arrest

It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can after being arrested or charged with drunk driving. Call our Oshkosh firm at 920-335-1413 for a free consultation or send us an email and we will respond promptly.