Information on What the Ignition Interlock Device Laws Are in America’s Dairyland of WI
All cities across the state of Wisconsin including Madison, Wisconsin Dells, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Milwaukee, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Lake Geneva have the same rules and DUI/OWI regulations when it comes to the WI Ignition Interlock laws & penalties involving the crime of drinking and driving. Those drivers caught operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will be arrested and likely charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The penalties for being convicted of this crime include jail time, a driver’s license suspension, fines, and the requirement of having to get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in order to be able to legally drive in the state.
A blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent is often the threshold for being charged with drinking and driving related crimes in Wisconsin and most other states. Research was conducted to prove the threshold in which drivers are too impaired to drive, which showed that most drivers were impaired with a BAC of 0.05 percent and all drivers were impaired with a BAC of 0.08 percent.
Additionally, the state of Wisconsin can charge drivers under the age of 21 with DUI should their BAC be 0.02 percent or more and commercial drivers should their BAC be 0.04 percent or more. Since the new laws for OWI & DUI have become so serious, it is crucial to have the arrest details examined online with us as soon as possible. Getting the proper help in time to find the proper defense options based upon what exactly happened, is the best strategy to increase the chances of avoiding a suspended driver’s license as well as preventing the car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device requirement in WI under the new state laws.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence & OWI Offense Charges in Wisconsin?
As outlined, the penalties for being convicted of OWI in the state of Wisconsin are many – this variety of punishments is used to deter drivers from drinking and driving again, helping keep them safe as well as other individuals on the road. First time DUI offenders in the state of Wisconsin, or drivers with no previous drinking and driving convictions, face penalties that include the following:
- Fines of $150 to $300
- Driver’s License Suspension of Six to Nine Months
- Required to Install an Ignition Interlock Device Up to 1 Year On Average
The state of Wisconsin practices a 10 year “look-back period,” which is the period of time in which previous DUI& OWI charge offenses are relevant to an offender’s current sentencing. For a 2nd time OWI offense in the state of Wisconsin, or drivers with one previous drinking and driving conviction, face penalties that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Fines of $300 to $1,100
- Five Days to Six Months in Jail
- Driver’s License Suspension of 12 to 18 Months
- OWI Interlock Device Requirement
For a 3rd OWI or DUI offense conviction or guilty plea in the state of Wisconsin, or drivers with 2 prior drinking and driving convictions, they will face consequences that include, but are not limited to the following:
- Fines of $600 to $2,000
- 60 Days to One Year in Jail
- WI Driver’s License Suspension of Two to Three Years
- IID Requirement
What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work With New Wisconsin OWI & DUI Laws?
A Wisconsin Ignition Interlock is a car Breathalyzer-type device that is mounted to a vehicle’s dashboard and integrated with that vehicle’s ignition system. Like a regular Breathalyzer device used by law enforcement during DUI arrests for the roadside field sobriety tests and at the police station, this device uses a breath sample to measure an individual’s BAC. When individuals using the IID wish to start their vehicle, they need to blow into the device in order to provide their breath sample – should this sample be above the predetermined threshold, usually 0.02 percent, the device does not allow the vehicle to start.
An OWI Interlock device can also be programmed to require sample retesting while the vehicle is in motion – this is meant to prevent another individual from providing the initial breath sample to start the car and allowing offenders to drive when intoxicated.
When alerted, drivers need to provide the additional sample, and should that sample be above the predetermined threshold, the event is logged and drivers are alerted to pull the vehicle over and turn off the engine. A car Breathalyzer Interlock device does not have the ability to turn off the vehicle’s engine on its own or stop the vehicle in any way.
When is Having to Use an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Wisconsin?
The state of Wisconsin has approved the use of the Ignition Interlock for specific drivers convicted in court of OWI charges or another drinking and driving related crime. The judge permits the installation, maintenance, and use of an IID as a condition of having a convicted offender’s driving rights reinstated. This can be approved in the following 3 types of common DUI conviction situations:
- Any driver with a repeat DUI conviction
- Any driver who refused to submit to chemical testing to prove BAC
- Any driver with one DUI conviction who also had a BAC of 0.15 percent or more
In Wisconsin, the installation and use of Ignition Interlock device is required in every vehicle owned by or registered to the convicted offender unless the vehicle is specifically deemed exempted by the judge or court.
Who is Responsible for Paying for the Total Cost of the WI Ignition Interlock Device Fees?
When the installation and use of an Interlock for a OWI or DUI charge is authorized by the judge, Wisconsin offenders using the device are responsible for handling all costs associated with the device. Some of the costs they can expect to pay include leasing the device, installing the device, and having routine maintenance performed.
Convicted OVI offenders who are required to use Ignition Interlock machine should expect to pay anywhere between $70 and $120 a month to lease the device and also pay around $100 to have the device professionally installed – keep in mind, however, these are just cost estimates.
What is the Process of How to Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Wisconsin?
After the requirement of getting an Ignition Interlock device installed has been approved by the court, OWI and DUI offenders will first need to begin the process of obtaining the IID and having it installed in order for their driver’s license to be reinstated by the state of Wisconsin. First, offenders need to lease the Interlock device from a state approved IID provider – a full list of state approved OWI Interlock device providers can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website. It is important to ensure the provider is state approved in order for the device to be considered valid.
Once the car Breathalyzer Interlock device has been leased, convicted OWI drivers will also need to ensure it is installed in their primary vehicle, and all other vehicles registered to them, to the state’s standards again so that the device is considered valid. After the device is installed, offenders likely have to send or present a copy of the device’s lease agreement as well as a copy of the receipt of installation to the court, the judge, their probation officer, or the Wisconsin Department of Transpiration. Once this is approved, the DOT moves to reinstate the offender’s driver’s license.
Once a WI Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a driver’s unique arrest situation online with us, they can then be in a proper position to discuss with a person of any possible defenses available of how to avoid having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed in:
Eau Claire County
Fond du Lac County
Green Lake County
La Crosse County
St. Croix County
Fond du Lac
North Fond du Lac
Prairie du Chien