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OWI Laws

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Under Wisconsin law, you may not drive or operate a motor vehicle while:

(a) Under the influence of an intoxicant, a controlled substance, a controlled substance analog or any combination of an intoxicant, a controlled substance and a controlled substance analog, under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders you incapable of safely driving, or under the combined influence of an intoxicant and any other drug to a degree which renders you incapable of safely driving; or

(b) You have a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in your blood. [“Restricted controlled substances” include most Schedule I controlled substances as well as cocaine and methamphetamine.]

(c) You have a prohibited alcohol concentration (.08% or greater alcohol content; however, if you have three or more OWI related convictions, suspensions, or revocations then operating with a alcohol content greater than .02% is prohibited). This is sometimes referred to as “PAC” or a “per se OWI.”

If you have not attained the legal drinking age (you are under 21 years of age), you may not drive or operate a motor vehicle while you have an alcohol concentration of more than 0.0 percent but not more than 0.08 percent. In Wisconsin, a OWI is usually a misdemeanor crime. However, a first OWI conviction is not considered a crime, so jail time is not possible. However, if you commit an OWI with a child under 16 years of age in the car, even a first offense is now a misdemeanor crime. Also a first offense can be charged criminally if there was an injury caused by the intoxicated driving. A fourth OWI is a felony if the new offense is within five years of a prior OWI conviction. A fifth or greater OWI offense is a felony charge.

Upon conviction of a Wisconsin OWI offense, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including: mandatory jail time / alcohol screening / treatment / education / attendance at a victims impact panel class.

The amount of incarceration (jail or prison) received will depend on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the following mitigating and aggravating factors:


  • Older prior OWI offenses
  • Seeking treatment early (before conviction)
  • Good driving record
  • Cooperative with police
  • Low BAC
  • No evidence of bad driving


  • Recent OWI offenses
  • No recognition of substance abuse problem
  • OWI while license is suspended / revoked
  • Resisting arrest / uncooperative with police
  • High BAC
  • Poor driving; collision; accident
  • Injuries / property damage involved
  • Child under 16 in car
  • Use of controlled substances with alcohol

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Beyond Expectations

My husband had never been in any legal trouble before and we didn’t know what to do or what the process was. Attorney Kaehne was very upfront and willing to explain every step of the way. My husband can be very skeptical when it comes to trusting people with his best interest, but Attorney Kaehne always remained professional and helpful. My husband was facing the possibility of years in prison and Attorney Kaehne was able to get the matter dismissed. He will always be our first choice!

The Outcome was Far Better than I Expected

Attorney Kaehne always communicated with me on what was going on and his plans for future court appearances. The outcome of the case was far more better than I expected and am really pleased that Chad did what he did to get this issue resolved.

Treated like Family

Amazing people as well as amazing attorneys. I was always treated like family.

Not Guilty Verdict

Attorney Corey Mehlos gave my case the upmost attention. He worked very hard and many long hours on it. I was impressed with his dedication and his understanding to my wishes. Not Guilty verdict at my jury trial. I highly recommend him.

In Good Hands

One of the best things about this firm is that they are truly advocates for you in every sense of the word. They listen, affirm, and explain everything without all the jargon that can so often times come with anything regarding the legal cases. I felt supported and knew I was in good hands.

Getting Responses at 9:00 pm at Night

The best lawyer you can hire for your case! Chad was extremely helpful and polite in answering all of my questions. I was even getting responses to my emails at 9 at night. He did a great job helping me get through the legal process. I recommend him to anyone needing a good lawyer.

Keen Sense of Justice and Honesty

Amaro is a very efficient attorney with extensive knowledge of the hispanic culture and language. He has a keen sense of justice and honesty. For the years I have know him he has proven to be a source of counsel. His clients will find his humble and cordial demeanor, appealing and refreshing. This is why I would recommend Amaro to everyone looking for legal advice.

Never Stops Working

An excellent attorney. Nicholas was very helpful with our case. He excelled at explaining complex legal concepts. Very accessible, we never had an issue getting an answer to a question. I don't think he stops working. Highly recommended.

Passion and Understanding for her Clients' Wishes

Attorney Cottle helped with my immigration case, she made the whole process much less stressful and you could tell she had a passion and understanding for her clients' wishes. Great experience, would highly recommend!

Available and Responsive to Needs of her Clients

Attorney Laborde shows professionalism in everything she does. She is a thorough lawyer who honestly cares about her clients and represents them to her full ability. She makes herself available and is responsive to the needs of her clients. I would certainly recommend her family law services!

Over-the-Top Attorney

From my experience, Attorney Kelsi Cottle has been an over-the-top attorney. She keeps me apprised of my case, has answered my questions, and treats me with respect. She has been very efficient, handles things expediently, and I feel I am represented by a very sharp attorney who has my best interest in mind.