What is Aggravated OWI?

When it comes to operating under the influence (OWI) in Wisconsin, not all offenses are judged equally under state law.

Aggravated OWI comes in to play when a person is operating while intoxicated along with other factors that make the situation more dangerous. Along with the extra word, aggravated OWI also comes with extra harsh penalties upon conviction.

Aggravating OWI Factors

There are numerous factors that can result in aggravated OWI charges, primarily:

  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .15
  • Having a BAC of .08 or above and causing injury or death in a motor vehicle crash
  • Having multiple past OWI convictions on your record
  • Having a BAC of .08 or above while being a minor (under the age of 16)

These are the most common aggravating factors in Wisconsin OWI cases, but they are not the only factors. You can be charged with aggravated OWI for other reasons. It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney anytime you face OWI charges, aggravated or not.

Aggravated OWI Penalties

The penalties for aggravated are also, well, aggravated. You can expect steeper fines, longer jail sentences, a longer license suspension or revocation, and a larger black mark on your record. An aggravated OWI – even if it is your first OWI offense – will almost always result in the requirement to use an ignition interlock device to get your license back.

An experienced OWI defense attorney may be able to help you plead to a lesser offense or beat aggravated charges entirely. Make an attorney your first call
when facing aggravated OWI charges in Wisconsin.