Wisconsin Law: OWI – DUI – DWI
A drunk driving charge in Wisconsin is called an OWI, which stands for Operating While under the Influence. In other states, this is a DUI or DWI charge, but the laws is basically the same- it alleges that the driver of a motorized vehicle was under the influence while driving. The influencing agent can be any intoxicant such as alcohol, illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana, or legal drugs that have the propensity to impair driving.
Events surrounding a drunk driving charge can be overwhelming, but it is important to hire an experienced qualified attorney right away.
The two-part system: why you need to act fast
Once you receive an OWI citation, the state initiates two legal actions. The Criminal Action is in response to the ticket that was issued to you, while the Administrative Action is brought against your driver’s license by the Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Department. While both actions can result in the suspension of your driving privileges, it is important to remember that there may be additional penalties to consider and each action must be handled separately.
Pursuant to Wisconsin law, an individual has 10 days to request an Administrative Hearing from the Motor Vehicle Department. If you fail to request a hearing within 10 days, your right to the hearing is lost, and your license is automatically suspended for the applicable statutory time frame. In order to preserve your right to an Administrative Hearing, it is crucial that you submit your request to the Motor Vehicle Department within 10 days.
Penalties and Outcomes
Offenses and penalties for OWI
People accused of drunk driving can receive two tickets for the drunk driving offense. One of the tickets is for driving under the influence (the OWI ticket), and the other is for violating Wisconsin’s prohibited alcohol content level laws (the PAC ticket). Actual drunk driving charges depend on several factors, such as if the person had been convicted of a drunk driving offense previously in this or any other state, if the person had refused to submit to a sobriety test (convictions for refusing a test count as a prior OWI conviction), and whether or not a child was in the vehicle at the time that the alleged offense was committed.Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) penalties range in severity depending on the type of offense and number of repeat offenses.