Question: Can you discuss the drug/alcohol treatment programs that may be part of a person’s OWI sentence in Wisconsin?

Answer: Yes. There are a variety of programs, depending on the county that you’re in in Wisconsin and some of the specifics of the actual OWI situation. However, one requirement is that every person who is convicted of an OWI in Wisconsin, no matter what level, is required to undergo a Department of Transportation approved assessment for alcohol and other drug use. That assessment requires the person who does the assessment to determine what level of treatment the person needs to receive, based on the assessment and the history of that person. That treatment that is recommended out of the assessment must be completed within one year for a person to keep a valid driver’s license.

So that’s one requirement that anyone convicted of OWI in Wisconsin has to go through in order to remain a valid licensed driver. Separately from that, there are a variety of treatment courts that different counties in Wisconsin are setting up. There’s some that have been around for a while, there’s some that are just coming online in different counties. And often they have different requirements.

The basic structure is generally to say they will give you a lesser jail sentence in exchange for some intensive treatment that they will oversee. So those treatment courts and OWI courts are getting set up, and each county has their own rules and their own requirements for those courts so it can vary quite a bit. Frequently only certain types of offenses are eligible to even participate. So it can depend on the specifics there.

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