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What Are the Penalties for OWI When the Offender Is Under 21?

 Posted on April 13, 2020 in OWI

Muskego OWI defense attorney

Most states have laws that make it illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. In Wisconsin, these laws are referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI). These laws tend to be broadly defined, and they apply to a number of drunk driving behaviors. In Wisconsin, you can be charged with OWI if you have a BAC of 0.08 percent or more; are intoxicated and unable to safely drive; or have any detectable amount of a controlled substance in your body. If a person is under the age of 21 when he or she is convicted of OWI, he or she can face an additional set of criminal consequences in conjunction with regular OWI penalties. That is why it is essential to seek professional legal counsel to make sure your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” Law

As in most other states, drivers are not permitted to have a BAC of more than 0.08 percent when operating a motor vehicle. In Wisconsin, drivers who are under the age of 21 are not permitted to have any alcohol whatsoever in their systems. This means the legal limit for those under 21 is 0.00, whereas it is 0.08 for everyone else. If you are under 21 and you are caught driving with a BAC higher than zero, you face a $200 fine, four demerit points on your driver’s license, and a driver’s license suspension of three months. These penalties are concurrent and separate from any other penalties you may be facing for OWI.

Additional OWI Penalties

In addition to any consequences you face for underage drinking, you may also face normal OWI charges. These charges differ depending on the severity of the incident and the number of prior convictions. For a first-time OWI charge, an offender may face fines of $150 to $300, a $435 OWI surcharge, and a six- to nine-month driver’s license suspension.

Contact a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Attorney 

Being charged with an OWI is a serious criminal offense. The situation becomes even more complicated and stressful if you are under the age of 21. If you or your minor child is facing OWI penalties, you should speak with a skilled Brookfield OWI defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we will guide you through the process and help you avoid a conviction to keep your driving privileges intact. Call our team today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation.




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