PAC vs OWI Charges In Wisconsin

Question: Can you explain the difference between prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) and the operating while impaired (OWI) charge in Wisconsin? Why are there 2 tickets?

Answer: In Wisconsin, assuming that there’s a test result of .08 or higher of a restricted controlled substance in the blood, there will oftentimes be two charges given. The first is operating under the influence of an intoxicant, and the other is operating with a prohibited concentration or with a restricted substance. There are two tickets given because the State can actually proceed on both of them. The first charge requires that they simply show that someone is too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle. The second charge is to show at what level they’re at or whether or not there is a restricted substance in the blood. In Wisconsin, the prosecutor can charge both a prohibited alcohol concentration charge and the operating while under the influence charge; however, a person can only be sentenced on one of those charges.


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