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.
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.
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).