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When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required in a Wisconsin OWI Case?

Posted on in OWI

Wisconsin Attorney for OWI

An arrest for drunk or intoxicated driving can result in multiple consequences. If a person is convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI), they may be required to pay fines, they may be sentenced to time in prison, and their driver’s license may be revoked. In some cases, a person may lose their driver’s license even if they are not convicted of OWI. Because most people need to be able to drive regularly, it is important for a person to understand their options for regaining their driving privileges, including whether they can receive an occupational driver’s license. For these types of licenses, a person will be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID), and these devices may also be required in other OWI cases. When using a vehicle with an IID, a person will be required to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle and at regular intervals while driving.

IID Requirements in Wisconsin

For a first-time OWI offense, a person’s driver’s license may be revoked for six to nine months, and after their license is restored, they will only need to use an IID if a chemical test showed that they had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .15 percent. An IID will also be required if a person is convicted of OWI for a second or subsequent time or if they refused to submit to chemical testing of their BAC. In most of these cases, the requirement to use an IID will last for one year.

A person who has had their driver’s license suspended or revoked may apply to receive an occupational license, which will allow them to drive for employment purposes, to travel to and from school, or to complete essential household activities. This type of license will require a person to use an IID. Before a person can receive an occupational license, a waiting period may apply, and the length of this period will depend on their specific charges. For a first-time OWI, an occupational license will be available immediately, but a second or subsequent conviction will have a 45-day waiting period. A 30-day waiting period will apply in cases where a person refused to take a chemical BAC test, and this period is extended to 90 days for a second offense or 120 days for a third offense.

If a person is required to use an IID, they will need to have a device installed in every vehicle they own, including those that are primarily operated by other members of their household. They will also be restricted to only driving vehicles with an IID, which means that they usually will not be able to borrow vehicles from friends or family members or drive rental cars. If other people drive vehicles that a person owns, they will be required to use the installed IID to provide a breath sample when driving.

Contact Our Waukesha, WI OWI Lawyers

At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we can provide you with legal representation in cases involving drunk driving or OWI charges. We will help you determine your best options for defense while working to ensure that you will be able to minimize your potential consequences and regain your driving privileges as soon as possible. Contact our Milwaukee County OWI defense attorneys at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation today.


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