Repeat OWIs times exponential costs can really add up

Drinking and driving can come with an avalanche of ramifications, but the price you pay for repeat offenses could rise exponentially.

Almost 2,000 arrests are made every month in Wisconsin for drinking and driving. Being a part of that statistic of operating while intoxicated (OWI) can come with serious consequences, with the stakes only going up with more severe charges.

Hard times ahead

Repercussions range depending on the number of OWIs and the severity:

  • Treatment: You’ll likely have to undergo drug and alcohol screening. The state may use the results to form a path for rehabilitation, including education and ongoing testing.
  • Probation: Probation may be on the table to reduce mandatory jail times, but will typically count only upon successful completion. And that may be no small feat with probation windows for serious offenders possibly ranging from a few days to six years.
  • License: Your very first OWI could cost you the ability to drive for months after your arrest, with the option to apply for a limited license. Continued offenses could mean years without a license, along with waiting periods for applying for an occupational license that lasts for weeks.
  • Fines: The costs of an OWI can span rising insurance premiums and rehabilitation programs, but fines may be the first step. Usually beginning at $150 for a first offense, chronic infractions can quickly cost tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Jail: While a first offense may not result in jail, repeat offenses can start racking up time quickly. A second offense could measure your stay in months, a third offense might see up to a year, and 15 to 25 years for the most serious offenses.

You’ll find the risks on the rise after multiple OWI transgressions. Measured in time, money and freedom, the price you pay generally has one way to go, and that’s up.