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An OWI Conviction May Mandate an Ignition Interlock Device on Your Vehicle

Milwaukee DWI attorney helps you understand the law on ignition interlock devices

With the exception of a conviction for first offense OWI with a blood alcohol concentration under .15, for all OWI offenses the Court must at sentencing under Section 343.301 of the Wisconsin Statutes do three things:

  1. Order that your privilege for the operation of "Class D" vehicles be restricted to operating vehicles that are equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device.
  2. Order that you install an Ignition Interlock Device in all vehicles for which your name appears on the vehicle's certificate of title or registration and all vehicles listing you as the lessee.
  3. Order that you pay an Ignition Interlock Device surcharge of $50 to the clerk of courts. The law requires that you present to the DMV the receipt for the $50 payment at the time you obtain your regular or occupational license following conviction.

The required period for an Ignition Interlock Device is one year for a first offense OWI conviction, one year to 18 months for a second offense OWI conviction, and 1-3 years for second and subsequent OWI convictions. The period begins after your conviction date when you obtain a regular or occupational license. To obtain either license you must present proof at a motor vehicle service center that an Ignition Interlock Device has been installed in all vehicles for which your name appears on the vehicle's certificate of title or registration and all vehicles listing you as the lessee. The DMV website has a Frequently Asked Questions section which attempts to clarify how the DMV is implementing this law. The website points out that for all offenses that occur on or after July 1, 2010, you cannot "wait out" the Ignition Interlock Device.

During the period ordered by the court, you are not permitted to operate any vehicle, regardless of whether you own the vehicle or not, unless the vehicle is equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device. Failure to comply with the court order requiring installation of the Ignition Interlock Device and operation of vehicles with the Ignition Interlock Device will make you subject to prosecution under newly enacted Sec. 347.413(1), which provides for incarceration in the county jail of up to six months and a fine of up to $600 for a first offense conviction. Also, a conviction will extend by six months the required period for keeping your vehicle(s) equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device.

There are currently four Ignition Interlock providers with equipment certified by the State of Wisconsin:

  1. Intoxalock Model 1001A, manufactured by Consumer Safety Technology, Inc
  2. Interlock XT, manufactured by Draeger Safety, Inc.
  3. LifeSafer SC100, manufactured by LifeSafer Interlock
  4. SSI 20/20, manufactured by Start Smart, Inc.

A complete list of installation and service centers appears at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/statepatrol/services/chemtest.htm#installation.

Get Help with Milwaukee DWI Charges

If you have been arrested for OWI or DWI, you could be facing a host of penalties in addition to an Ignition Interlock Device, including significant fines, loss of your license, and jail time. Talk to an experienced Milwaukee OWI/DWI attorney at Hayes & Rothstein, S.C. to find out what can be done to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction or to minimize the severity of the penalties.

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