Wisconsin DUI Penalties

Wisconsin DUI laws and penalties

Each State within the United States has been given the authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article we will explore the different laws within the State of Wisconsin, and their penalties. To begin with, Wisconsin has what is known as a ten year “Lookback Period”. This means that any previously acquired within the past ten years is now relevant to the sentencing process you are facing with your current DUI charges. This is also known as a “washout” period. Wisconsin also uses the term OWI, or Operating While Intoxicated, with the same equal merit as other States as DUI.

What constitutes a high BAC for a DUI in Wisconsin?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive as your vision, reasoning, along with your mental capacity to make important decisions and judgments are severely hindered and not capable of bouncing back to what you are able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different and their tolerance level for alcohol is severely unpredictable, making it impossible to say how many drinks are “normal” or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform chemical tests on suspecting DUI offenders. If you are pulled over and are requested to take a chemical test, Wisconsin has what is known as an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. For refusal to take the chemical test, the penalties are as follows:

  • First Offense: 1 year license suspension
  • Second Offense: 2 year license suspension (offenses must be within 10 years of each other)
  • Third Offense: 3 year license suspension (offenses must be within 10 years of each other)

What are the penalties within the Wisconsin DUI laws?

There are several penalties within the Wisconsin DUI laws, and we will explore them in this section. Should you be pulled over and found guilty of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol with the boarders of the State of Wisconsin, the following penalties are what you will be facing:

Penalty of Jail

  • First Offense: none
  • Second Offense: 5 days to 6 months
  • Third Offense: 30 days to 1 year
  • Fourth Offense: 60 days to 1 year
  • Fifth & Sixth Offense: 6 months to 6 years

Penalties and Fines

  • First Offense: $150 to $300
  • Second Offense: $300 to $1,100
  • Third Offense: $600 to $2,000
  • Fourth Offense: $600 to $2,000
  • Fifth & Sixth Offense: $600 to $10,000

Penalty of License Suspension

  • First Offense: 6 to 9 months
  • Second Offense: 12 to 18 months
  • Third Offense: 2 to 3 months
  • Fourth Offense: 2 to 3 months
  • Fifth & Sixth Offense: 2 to 3 months

Penalty of Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

  • First Offense: No
  • Second Offense: Yes
  • Third Offense: Yes
  • Fourth Offense: Yes
  • Fifth & Sixth Offense: Yes


It is important to note that laws change, as well as their interpretation an application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State and each may choose to enforce the law in different ways, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of a professional and experienced lawyer who is well versed on the DUI law within the State of Wisconsin, as well as being capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case, along with being current on all laws pertaining to DUI.

Related Pages

Previous Article

West Virginia DUI Penalties

Next Article

Wyoming DUI Penalties

Article of the Day

Wisconsin Car Accident Statute of Limitations

This article will explain details on the car accident statute of limitations for the state of Wisconsin.

Category: Injury Law