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How Will My DUI Affect My Future?

How Drunk Driving Could Risk Your Future

From securing a job and keeping your driving privileges to child custody and constitutional rights — a DUI charge doesn’t simply result in a fine for many. Learn the impact a Wisconsin DUI could have on your future, and how our team can help.

DUI Charges in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, a standard first OWI offense may result in a $150-$300 fine, as well as 6 to 9 months without your license — with no required jail time. Following a first offense, a second DWI/OWI offense within 10 years of the first while transporting a minor will result in larger penalties. Your sentence could be increased to $700-$2,200 in fines, 2 to 3 years with your license revoked, and 10 days to 12 months in jail.

Eventually, a fourth OWI offense within five years of the last is considered a Class H Felony. At this point, you could be sentenced to $1,200-$20,000 in fines, 4 to 6 years with a revoked license, and one to 12 years behind bars.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Drunk With a Commercial License?

The impact of a DUI on a truck driver not only affects their ability to go wherever they choose — it affects their livelihood as well. Truck drivers have commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), which means they’re held to higher standards when operating a motor vehicle. Therefore, the penalties for driving drunk or driving under the influence come with higher risks.

What is the BAC for a Commercial DUI?

Most drivers assume that the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is the same for everyone across Wisconsin — but this isn’t the case for commercial truckers.

With a larger vehicle comes more considerable risks, which is why the legal limit for Wisconsin commercial drivers operating a commercial vehicle is half that of everyday drivers. This means that instead of a BAC of 0.08, commercial drivers can be found guilty of a DUI if their BAC is greater or equal to 0.04.

Read More: How Long Will a DUI Appear on My Wisconsin Record

Can My CDL Be Revoked?

Not only do Wisconsin commercial drivers face a lower BAC limit while on the road, but they also face higher penalties if charged and convicted of a DUI — even if they’re in their own personal car. Wisconsin law states that drivers with class A, B, or C commercial driver’s licenses may face disqualification of their CDL privileges if found driving drunk.

Additionally, if a commercial trucker is found operating any vehicle under the influence, they risk losing their license for a year. If you were transporting hazardous materials when pulled over, the penalty raises to three years. The same penalties apply to commercial drivers who refuse to submit to a test in order to determine their BAC. If you’re convicted of a second offense, this penalty stays for life.

Wisconsin OWI and Child Endangerment

Another grave risk associated with a DUI in Wisconsin is the risk of losing custody of your children. The penalties for any adult charged with driving drunk increase if there’s a child passenger in the car.

Penalties for Drunk Driving with a Child Passenger

If you’re found driving drunk with your children in the car, you could be charged with child endangerment — resulting in not just penalties, but consequences to your custody arrangement as well.

If you're also charged with child endangerment, standard fines increase to $350-$1,000 and your license could be revoked for 12 to 18 months. Additionally, you may face five days to six months in jail. Just as a standard DUI, these charges increase if the driver is convicted of a repeat offense.

Additional Consequences

Drinking and driving with one or more children in your car creates conditions that could lead to a tragedy. This is why there are some collateral consequences that come with being convicted of a DWI with a child passenger, such as:

  • Issues with Child Protective Services (CPS).
  • Loss of custody.
  • Loss of other individual constitutional rights.
  • Overcoming the stigma of your conviction (when it comes to securing a job or place of residence).

Defending Your Wisconsin Commercial DWI

Our attorneys at Melowski & Singh, LLC will do just that and will always fight for what’s right during your case. No other law firm in Wisconsin has helped more clients avoid drunk driving convictions than our team. To schedule your consultation, contact our team today: (920) 294-1414