The potential consequences of a DUI arrest in Wisconsin are serious. Although a DUI first offense is not a criminal offense, a conviction can result in license suspension and hefty fines. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above, or a conviction of DUI with a minor passenger can result in mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Second and subsequent offenses can result in a jail sentence and an ignition interlock device.
Prior posts on this blog have discussed how Wisconsin addresses first-time drunk driving offenses. Wisconsin is the only state in the country that does not criminalize first time DUI charges. Critics from inside and outside the state's borders have condemned this practice as merely a slap on the wrist for what some consider a dangerous behavior.
While people in other parts of the country may judge Wisconsin for its harsh winter weather and disconnect from the coasts, residents of this state know just how great it is to live here. Filled with beautiful scenery and warm-hearted people, Wisconsin is a great place to live for people of any demographic.
There is no doubt that driving while drunk can be dangerous. Here in Wisconsin, however, individuals facing their first drunk driving charges have generally been granted a second chance to drive responsibly before being charged with a crime. For some it is an opportunity to learn from a bad mistake that will never be repeated.