2009 Wis. Act 100 went into effect July 1, 2010. This is what is referred to as the New
Drunk Driving Law. The New Drunk Driving Law is significantly different in certain areas than it was in the past.First offense
with a minor in vehicle: A first offense OWI will now be treated as a criminal violation if the offender had a minor
child in the vehicle that is under age 16. Penalties would be those that are similar to penalties for a second offense OWI.
(12-18 month revocation of license, 5 days to 6 months in jail, $350.00 to $1100.00 fine plus costs, and an Ignition
Probation: Under the new law, courts are allowed to order
probation as a portion of the sentence for second and third offense OWI charges. Under the old law, this was not allowed.
In many situations, if the State would recommend probation, a one to two, or sometimes even three year term, of probation
would be given in exchange for a lower jail sentence. At times,and in certain counties, the jail sentence could be less than
the actual statutory minimum.
Device: The new law requires Ignition Interlock Devices in many more situations. A first offense OWI conviction is
required to have an Ignition Interlock Device if the BAC is .15 or higher. All second offense OWI cases are now required to
have an Ignition Interlock Device. Additionally, there are significant penalties for removing, interfering, disconnecting
or tampering with an Ignition Interlock Device. The new law also requires proof of installation of the Ignition Interlock
Device within two weeks of issuance of the Interlock Device Order to qualify for HUBER release privileges.
There is also a lower BAC level for persons who are subject to an Ignition Interlock
Device Order. That means that the legal limit for individuals operating with an Ignition Interlock Device is .02. This is
regardless of whether this is a second or third offense.
License Waiting Period: The new law required only a 45 day waiting period for an occupational license for all multiple
OWI offenses. However, the waiting period for Refusals has not changed. A Refusal violation for a first offense conviction
requires a thirty day wait for an occupational license. If there is a second offense Refusal, there is a ninety day waiting
period while third and subsequent offenses require a 120 day waiting period.
in the Penalties for OWI
: The change in the law in 2010 increased the penalties for many operating
while under the influence charges. Each county has sentencing guidelines which show the exact range of penalties for a particular
offense and alcohol concentration. Those sentencing guidelines are available through the Wisconsin State Bar website. If you have further questions about this, please feel free to contact my office at (877) 384-1384.