First Offense DUI in Wisconsin: What Are the Penalties?
A first offense for Driving under the Influence (DUI) in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense. This means that jail is not a possible penalty for a first offense DUI in Wisconsin. However, there are other DUI penalties, which are the following:
- A fine of between $766.50 and $1,050.50;
- A drivers license revocation of six to nine months; and
- A requirement that you install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for one year (if blood alcohol level is greater than .14).
First Offense DUI in Wisconsin Tip: Although a first offense DUI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense, you should always consult with a local DUI lawyer. A DUI lawyer may be able to win your case or at least avoid the high cost and inconvenience of having to install an ignition interlock device in your car. Also, a DUI lawyer can ensure that your drivers license remains valid while your case is pending.
Important Things to Know:
The amount of the fine and length of the drivers license revocation is based on your blood alcohol level (BAC) and whether your DUI is “aggravated” or “non-aggravated.” An “aggravated” DUI occurs if there was a car accident, unsafe driving, or your license was revoked at the time you were arrested for DUI.
An Ignition Interlock Device is only required if your blood alcohol level, at the time of driving, was .15 or higher.
First Offense DUI in Wisconsin Tip: The initial breath test administered at the scene, called the preliminary breath test (PBT), is not admissible in court. The Intoximeter breath test, administered at the police station, is admissible in court. The Intoximeter breath test is typically administered two or three hours after you were driving. Because alcohol absorbs into your body over time, an experienced Wisconsin DUI lawyer can argue to the jury or judge that your blood alcohol level (BAC) at the time of driving was much less than the BAC shown by the Intoximeter two or three hours later. This can lead to a dismissal of your case or reduced penalties.
Occupational License: If you are charged with a First Offense DUI in Wisconsin, you are immediately eligible to obtain an occupational drivers license, which allows you to drive to and from work even if your license is otherwise suspended.
First Offense DUI in Wisconsin: Do I Need a Lawyer?
- The answer is maybe. You may not need to hire a DUI lawyer, but you should always at least consult with a DUI lawyer about your case.Although a first offense DUI is a not a criminal offense, a second offense DUI in Wisconsin within 10 years of a first offense DUI in Wisconsin is a criminal charge that carries mandatory jail time. Therefore, getting your first-offense DUI dismissed will be a tremendous benefit if you are ever charged with DUI in the next ten years.Once you are arrested for a first offense DUI in Wisconsin, your driving privileges will be suspended, normally within 30 days, and remain suspended for six months. A DUI lawyer can often prevent your driving privileges from being suspended while your case is pending.
About the author: Attorney Christopher M. Glinski is an experienced DUI lawyer in Racine, Wisconsin. Call (262) 632-1555 for a free consultation.