Many states are pushing for harsher convictions for drivers who choose to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, especially in the case of repeat offenders. One OWI offense can be seen as a mistake to be learned from, but repeatedly driving under the influence is a pattern of criminal behavior that must be rectified. States are now taking the steps necessary to remove these kinds of drivers from the road permanently. New Wisconsin felony OWI laws are part of that effort.
Lawmakers in Wisconsin took a big step towards safer roads for drivers just last year by adopting a new law that created harsher penalties for repeat OWI offenders. A fourth operating under the influence incident is now a Wisconsin felony OWI, no matter the time frame in which you received the prior OWIs. Previously, a fourth offense was only considered a felony if all OWI instances occurred within five years.
A fourth OWI is now classified as a Class H felony and carries larger fines and longer prison sentences. The penalties for a fourth offense Wisconsin Felony OWI include:
- Fines between $600 and $10,000
- Imprisonment for 60 days to 6 years
- License suspended for 3 years
You also will be responsible for having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This is a requirement for a period of time starting with your first OWI. Due to the OWI you will be considered high risk when looking for auto insurance, increasing your monthly expenses.
These penalties steadily increase as the number of Wisconsin Felony OWI incidents increase. Always have a trustworthy designated driver or contact that will pick you up if needed. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is one of the most irresponsible decisions you can make when transportation from a sober driver is so easily attainable.