Penalties for OWI in Wisconsin

On Behalf of | May 5, 2021 | OWI

Drivers can receive a charge of operating while intoxicated in Wisconsin with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above. Wisconsin courts use the state’s OWI penalty chart to sentence convicted individuals.

Review the possible legal consequences for common OWI offenses.


For the first OWI offense, drivers receive a fine of $150 to $300. A second OWI within 10 years carries fines of $350 to $1,100. A third OWI in the same 10-year period results in $600 to $2,000 in fines.

License suspension

Drivers convicted of a first-time OWI must serve a license suspension of six to nine months. The second offense in 10 years carries a 12-to-18-month license suspension. Drivers will lose privileges for two to three years for a third offense within a decade. Most first-time and second-time OWI convictions allow the driver to apply for an occupational license right away.

Some convicted individuals must also use an ignition interlock device after license reinstatement. The IID prevents the engine from starting if the driver cannot provide a sober breath sample.

Jail time

A driver who receives a second OWI offense in 10 years could receive five days to six months in jail. A third offense carries 45 days to one year in jail. Wisconsin considers a fourth OWI in a decade a felony offense. This conviction can result in 60 days to six years in jail.

Some offenders may also have the option to enter a one-year sobriety program, including those who have an OWI with a BAC of 0.15% or higher as well as anyone with more than one OWI conviction.