Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
Wisconsin law prohibits operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated due to alcohol, a controlled substance, a combination of the two, or any drug that could cause a person to be less capable of safe driving. The offense known as “OWI” refers to “operating while intoxicated.”
A law enforcement officer does not necessarily have to catch someone drunk driving in order to charge them with OWI. As long as the car is turned on and the motor is running, parked or not, the individual can be charged for OWI.
Wisconsin’s Alcohol Concentration Level
For the first up until the third offense, the Wisconsin legal limit on a breathalyzer BAC (blood alcohol content) test is .08. Any following OWI offenses must not pass the .02 margin – which is the “absolute sobriety” equivalent. Essentially, anyone less than 200 lbs is not allowed to operate a vehicle after consuming one beer or alcoholic equivalent.
Prohibited Controlled Substances
In addition to alcohol, other prohibited substances include:
- Synthetic opiates
- Opium-based and hallucinogenic substances
- Other stimulants and depressants
- Any other drug that causes a person to be less capable of driving
Consequences of an OWI Conviction
In Wisconsin, OWI fines start at $150 and end anywhere near $10,000 depending on whether or not the offense was repeated and other factors. If the charge turns into a felony, the individual may face from six months to six years in prison.
Other fees may include:
- Towing Fees
- Vehicle Impound Fees
- Alcohol Assessment Fees
- License Reinstatement Fees
- Insurance Fees
- Attorney Fees
- Additional Fees
If you or someone you know has been accused of operating while intoxicated, contact the Appleton car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 800-242-2874 to discuss your legal options.