OWI Third Offense Penalties

Operating while intoxicated is Wisconsin’s law for people driving cars while under the influence of alcohol. In other states, this is often called a DUI. Committing the offense more than one time will lead to harsher penalties on each subsequent offense.

You Can Potentially Save Your License and Create a Defense (You Only Have 10 Days)
Though a license suspension often accompanies an OWI charge, there are ways to avoid this suspension. An administrative review hearing, filed for by an attorney, is a place where the OWI arrest can be challenged. If successful, this can return your license quickly. This hearing is also an opportunity for your attorney to learn all the information and evidence related to this specific incident that the police have.

Being scared of the future is a natural and normal reaction to an OWI offense, and particularly for a third offense. Tracey Wood & Associates know the emotions and fears that you may be dealing with. We make sure that our clients our informed and as comfortable as possible during every step in the process. Our knowledge and experience can make this whole ordeal easier for our clients.

What Kind of Charge is a Third OWI Offense?
The circumstances of the charge will always determine the specifics, but generally speaking a third offense OWI will likely be a felony. However, a good defense team can make a difference and can potentially be the difference a conviction for either a felony or misdemeanor and a dismissal of charges.

Will I Go to Jail for a Third OWI Conviction?
This sentence does bring mandatory time in jail. The minimum is 45 days and the maximum is one year.

Will I Have to Pay Fines for a Third OWI Conviction?
A third offense brings a mandatory fine that will be between $600 and $2,000.

Will I Lose My License for a Third OWI Conviction?
Barring a successful defense at a hearing, there will be a mandatory license revocation that will last between 24 months and 36 months.

Will I Be Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in My Vehicle?
After three OWI convictions, an ignition interlock device will be required for between one and three years.

Will I Be Required to Complete an Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment (AODA)?
An AODA will be required after a third offense OWI conviction. This will mean a treatment that will usually cost $250 or more, and must be done within one year. These treatments will take place in your home county, even if you live out of state.

Can I Refuse to Take a Breath Test, Blood Test, or Field Sobriety Test?
Field sobriety tests can be refused without legal consequences. Blood and breath tests will often have legal consequences if they are refused.

How Long Does an OWI Stay on My Record?
Without an expungement, OWI charges will remain on your record forever. But if that charged is sealed or expunged, it will no longer be publically viewable.

Will I Be Required to Participate in the 24-7 Sobriety Program?
It is possible that a third conviction will land you in a program that requires daily sobriety tests.

Can I Be Fired For an OWI?
It is legal to fire an employee for an OWI conviction, but simply being charged with the crime does not automatically mean that you will lose your job.

What Are Some Possible OWI Defense Strategies?
There are a variety of ways to attack an OWI charge. A good defense attorney will plan the defense based around the specific circumstances, but some common defenses include:

  • • Challenging the reasons behind the traffic stop.
  • • Questioning the validity of the sobriety tests, be they blood or breath tests.
  • • Proving that the police violated protocol in some way, including not reading the defendant their Miranda rights.
  • • Dismantling the police’s timeline of BACs.


There is Hope

A charge is a not a conviction. A good defense can mean that you walk away with a dismissal of charges instead of a conviction.

Tracey Wood and Associates believe that everyone deserves a good defense and to have their side of the story told in court. We always speak with our clients extensively and determine the best course of action for their specific situations. Call us today to schedule a consultation for free, with no obligations attached.

”To empower, educate, and defend those charged with criminal offenses in Wisconsin and achieve the best possible outcome for their case” – Tracey Wood

No case is hopeless, no matter how much the deck seems stacked against you. Our team will fight for you in every situation, and we can together find positive legal outcomes. Sitting back and waiting will do you no good, so be proactive and call us to begin building your defense.


Call (608) 490-5779 or Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Online

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