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Drunk Driving Law Changes

Smart, aggressive, and experienced DUI defense lawyers.


Wisconsin Act 100 strengthens Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws. Provisions of Act 100 apply to violations that occur on or after July 1, 2010.

There are four main changes to existing law, including:

  • A fourth offense Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) will be a felony if it occurs within five years of an earlier offense.
  • Ignition interlocks devices (IIDs) will be required for repeat offenders and first-time offenders at or above a 0.15 blood alcohol level.
  • A greater emphasis will be placed on treatment for drunk drivers, helping reduce repeat offenses.
  • Increases first offense OWI to a misdemeanor if a child under 16 is in the vehicle.

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs)

  • Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) will be mandatory for the following convictions:
  • ALL repeat OWIs
  • ALL refusals
  • ALL 1st offense OWI with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher
  • IIDs are required for every vehicle owned by or registered to the offender, unless the vehicle is specifically exempted by the court.
  • IIDs must be ordered for a minimum of one year:
  • For operating privilege, restriction begins when offender is issued an occupational license or reinstates operating privilege (cannot “wait out” IID anymore).
  • For vehicles, courts may order the IID restriction to begin immediately.
  • Failure to install, removal, disconnection, tampering or circumvention violations result in a six-month extension of IID.
  • Establishes a Prohibitive Alcohol Concentration (PAC) of 0.02 for persons subject to an IID order for the duration of the IID order.

Impact on driver license revocation, reinstatement and occupational license

  • The driver license revocation period is extended by the number of days to which a person is sentenced to jail or imprisonment. For example, if a 12 month license revocation is imposed, and 5 days in jail, a revocation of 370 days will result.
  • The minimum waiting period for occupational license eligibility is reduced to 45 days, for 2nd / subsequent OWIs.
  • If no occupational license is issued, proof of IID installation is required for all vehicles owned and registered, before DMV can reinstate the offender’s driver license (cannot “wait out” IID).
  • The reinstatement fee for alcohol related offenses increases from $60 to $200.

–Wisconsin Department of Transportation

At Courtney & Molter, you will find lawyers with more than 30 years of experience defending people accused of drunk driving in Milwaukee and elsewhere in Wisconsin. We are ready to take on prosecutors in cases involving drunk driving causing injury or death.

Even the Slightest Injury Makes DUI Charges More Serious

People who face these charges are often surprised to learn that a serious injury is not necessary for penalties to increase. Did the passenger in your vehicle suffer a minor ankle injury? Did you allegedly hit a pedestrian or bicyclist while driving drunk, causing a single broken bone? Did you hit another car, causing the other driver to suffer a pulled muscle? Do not expect leniency just because the victim will quickly recover from the injury.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Stakes are high in cases involving people accused of causing a fatal crash while driving drunk. The driver may face much more than simple DUI charges. The driver may face charges of vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, the charge could result in life-changing penalties. If you have been accused of causing an alcohol-related death, retaining an experienced attorney who knows the courts is an important step in protecting your future.

Free Initial Consultation — Waukesha DUI/DWI Accident Attorneys

Call our Milwaukee drunk driving fatal crash attorneys directly at 414-224-6070 in Milwaukee or contact us online. Phones are answered 24 hours a day. If we can’t speak to you right away, don’t worry — we will return your call or e-mail soon.

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