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Wisconsin has a variety of penalties for alcohol-based driving offenses, or OWI (operating while intoxicated). All offenses will result in the offender’s driver’s license being suspended for some time. However, offenders can apply for a license reinstatement right away, as long as they were not involved in an accident during the course of their OWI offense. Often, an ignition interlock device is required as a condition of regaining driving privileges. This guide will explain how the ignition interlock device (IID) process works in Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin allows offenders to apply for an occupational license immediately after a conviction for OWI, as long as the offender installs an interlock device Wisconsin approves. The occupational license does limit where offenders can drive.
In Wisconsin, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent. Any drivers caught driving with a BAC at or above this level risk being convicted for OWI. The state has financial and administrative penalties for DUI offenses.
The penalties may change depending on the circumstances of the incident and court discretion.
Refusing a BAC test will not allow any offender to get away without consequences. A refusal to submit to a test will result in a license revocation of at least one year, and an interlock device or 24/7 sobriety program is required for a year as well. This length of time may increase if there is a minor in the vehicle or if it’s a repeat incident. First-time offenders who refuse a test have to wait 30 days to apply for an occupational license, and longer if it’s a repeat offense.
Wisconsin allows OWI offenders to regain driving privileges with an occupational license. This license limits where and what type of vehicle offenders can drive. To get an occupational license, offenders must:
Depending on prior offenses and circumstances of the offense, the offender may need to complete additional criteria to qualify.
Wisconsin allows offenders back on the road if they install an ignition interlock device. The devices help prevent recidivism and keep the public safe because:
Wisconsin requires offenders to pay for the IID installation and associated leasing costs. However, financial assistance is available with a court order stating eligibility. The average cost of an IID is between $2.50 and $3.50 a day, and Intoxalock offers flexible payment options.
*Installation will be covered for up to $100 after mail-in rebate. A 6-month minimum lease is required. This offer is available to Wisconsin customers only and cannot be combined with any other offer. This is not applicable to Voluntary leases.
An OWI attorney can help represent your interests in court and guide you through the process. If you’re having trouble finding someone to represent you, check out attorneys we partner with in your area.