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Wisconsin DUI and DWI Laws

Updated on April 2, 2011
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Sometimes..the truth is confusing...

Facts get twisted, dramatized, rearranged and run around like a game of telephone. By the time you and your friends sit down and try to discuss the "facts" of DUI and DWI its going to sound something like:


"its alright if you can see straight and do all those tests first before you try. like touch your nose and walk in a straight line."

If a cop can smell the alcohol on you, he isn't going to need to administer those tests. Usually they are only used to amuse the officers anyway, as you seriously try to convince them you just have bad balance and a lisp.


Here are some of the actual laws in Wisconsin. Lets face it, I am from Wisconsin. We are ONE HELL of a partying state. If you haven't had your first beer at 16 its not for lack of your parents offering it to you.


  • First of all, you don't actually have to be "driving" the car to be ticketed/towed/charged with DUIs or DWIs. If the key is in the ignition, or even if the engine is running but its parked, you can be charged.
  • You start with the ability to drive until the legal limit of .08. However, after your third incident your legal limit will be decreased to .02.
  • Every offense will be on your permanent record and may have to be disclosed with future employers. Legally, they cannot base a decision of whether or not to hire you based on your DUI/DWI but, it happens. Just can't prove it.
  • After your third offense your vehicle will be seized and towed, and you could lose your license permanently.
  • You can be stuck with using an Ignition Interlock Device. Similar to a breathalyzer. Click the link for more info.
  • Your car have an immobilization device installed. Like a car boot or a club on the steering wheel.
  • All offenses carry the risk of losing 6 points from your license.


*****HOWEVER. You CAN refuse to take a chemical test (breathalyzer or otherwise) BUT, this also comes with consequences. In a way, its almost like admitting you are guilty. If you refuse to take a chemical test, even on a first time DUI/DWI the following will happen:

  • you will lose your license for one year
  • you will not be able to apply for an occupational license for 30 days

If you decide to take the chemical test and you are found convicted, you will lose your license for 6-9 months and have no waiting period on an occupational license (First offense only)


If you feel you need the help of an DUI/DWI or Criminal Defense Attorney, feel free to check out this page.




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