Your First Wisconsin OWI Is Still a Big Deal
Your First OWI in Wisconsin will significantly impact your life
Many people believe that the first offense for an OWI in Wisconsin will bring a slap on the wrist. Mistakes happen, after all. Unfortunately, this is not the case. An OWI arrest brings real consequences that can impact you for the rest of your life. For this reason, if you are charged with OWI in Madison, you should retain an experienced attorney to help.
Your first OWI offense counts as a civil conviction. It comes with a fine between $150 and $300, along with an additional $365 OWI surcharge. You will also get your license suspended for six to nine months, and pay a $200 reinstatement fee before you get your license back. Finally, all of these penalties increase dramatically, and it actually becomes a crime, if you have a passenger under 16 years old in the vehicle with you.
You will also have to get an ignition interlock device (IID) if your blood alcohol content is above .15, and undergo a mandatory Alcohol and Other Drugs Assessment after your conviction. Your auto insurance rates may increase significantly.
Lingering Effects of Your First OWI
Your first OWI offense stays on your driving record forever. Any time you apply for a job or credit, that mark can count against you. Having your license suspended or revoked can also create difficulties with your current work or home life. It takes time to move past the penalties, but it takes even longer to move forward in your life.
You can even be convicted for an OWI if your blood alcohol content is within the legal limits. The court can determine that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired and it was unsafe for you to drive based on other factors. If you have been pulled over and arrested for an OWI, it is important to work with experienced attorneys. In the Madison, Wisconsin area, Eisenberg Law Offices can provide the representation you need.