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Drunk Driving News Headlines
Attorney Tracey A. Wood won an appeal on behalf of her client who had been stopped and arrested for refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test after being stopped for drunk driving on Highway 94 near Madison, Wisconsin. The Court of Appeals agreed with Wood that the stop was illegal, therefore the evidence was obtained illegally and could not be used to prosecute her client for the alleged drunk driving offense (Wisconsin's OWI law)..
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Wisconsin Drunk Driving Laws

Wisconsin Legal Drinking Age

Under Wisconsin law, a person must be at least 21 years of age to buy alcohol or consume it in a public place. [See also: Exception to drinking age when accompanied by parent]

legal limits - blood alcohol content

21 Years and No Prior Convictions

Under Wisconsin law, a person who is at least 21 years of age, and has absolutely no prior drunk driving convictions or refusals on his or her record, is prohibited from driving any motorized vehicle while under the influence of any type of intoxicant (such as beer, wine), controlled substance (such as marijuana) or prescription drugs with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. (Note: refusals count as a prior conviction).

with prior convictions

For drivers with three previous drunk driving convictions, the limit is lower; a person with three prior OWI convictions is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .02 or greater.

Underage Drinking and Driving (20 years of age or younger)

The legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21 years of age. Under Wisconsin laws, a person who is under 21 years of age is prohibited from drinking alcohol and driving. (See also: Wisconsin Zero Tolerance).

Zero Tolerance Laws for minors drinking and driving

Under Wisconsin's Zero Tolerance Law, any person under the age of 21 years is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle on public property while having any trace of alcohol or illegal drug in their bloodstream.

Wisconsin OWI Laws

First Drunk Driving Offense (1st OWI)

Under Wisconsin law, a first drunk driving conviction is not a crime, rather it is a civil infraction. Even so, a first OWI may result in fines ranging from $150 to $300 plus $355 surcharge with a suspension or revocation of the person's driver's license ranging between 6 months and 9 months. An occupational license is usually immediately available unless the driver possesses a CDL - Commercial Driver's License.

Second - Third - Fourth Drunk Driving Offenses (2nd 3rd 4th OWI)

Under Wisconsin law, a second or third drunk driving conviction is a misdemeanor. As the number of drunk driving convictions increases, the penalties increase accordingly, with fines ranging between $600 and $10,000 plus a $355 surcharge, and maximum possible jail sentences ranging anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Please refer to Drunk Driving Jail Time for an overview of sentences, and Wisconsin Drunk Driving Penalties for sentencing guidelines including jail time, fines, interlock restrictions and other forfeitures (such as forfeiture of a vehicle).

Fourth or Fifth Drunk Driving - OWI 4th, OWI 5th

Under Wisconsin law, a fourth or subsequent drunk driving conviction is a felony OWI offense.

Injury or Vehicular Homicide

Drunk Driving charges can be much more severe if the person is in an accident and causes an injury, causes great bodily harm, or commits vehicular homicide. Fines can reach up to $100,000 and a possible jail term of 25 years.

Test Refusal

If you refuse to submit to a test to determine if you are legally drunk, you have 10 days in which to act to save your driving privileges. For more information, please refer to refusing a test.

Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys

Attorney Tracey A. Wood has earned the recognition as Wisconsin's authority on drunk driving laws and defenses. For decades, she has represented more than 2,000 people charged with drunk driving in the state of Wisconsin against every type of charge and at all levels (first through fifth and beyond). Attorney Wood wrote the book on challenging prior under the influence convictions, and contributed Wisconsin laws and defense strategies to DUI Defense (DUI books). She is the president of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the first attorney ever to be appointed to the Board of Regents for the National College for DUI Defense.

Attorney Tracey A. Wood has handled numerous drunk driving cases in the recent past. The ones that stand out at this moment involve an appeal for a refusal conviction to the Wisconsin Court of Appeal and a appeal on a 4th drunk driving offense resulting in the conviction being overturned. You can read a summary of both of these cases, as well as many others, in the Legal News & Headlines section.

Free Initial Consultation

Van Wagner & Wood offers an initial brief, but very professional "first-impression" analysis to anyone who has been charged with a drunk driving offense or previously convicted and believes the conviction to be wrong or the sentence unduly harsh. To arrange your consultation or speak with an attorney right away, please call the law firm of Van Wagner & Wood.

Madison:      wisconsin:

You can use the form to the right to request a callback, or submit the online drunk driving form, and request a callback or reply email.

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Drunk Driving in Wisconsin | WI Drunk Driving Law
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