OWI Law and Underage Alcohol Cases in Wisconsin
The OWI law is the same
Whether or not you have attained the drinking age of 21, the penalties for operating under the influence remain the same. At sentencing, however, a judge can take into account your age at the time of the offense in determining whether your penalties should be closer to the minimum or the maximum.
What if my BAC was under .08?
If you are under age 21 and if the prosecution can establish that at the time of the violation you had an alcohol concentration above .00, you will be found guilty of the Absolute Sobriety “Not a Drop” law, Sec. 346.63(2m). The court must order a three-month suspension of operating privileges and a $200 forfeiture. Four points are assessed against your driving record. You are eligible immediately for an occupational license.
This is a non-criminal violation. The absolute sobriety conviction will appear on your driving record abstract for five years rather than 55 years for an OWI conviction.
If at the time of the violation your alcohol concentration was .04 - .079, this is evidence of being under the influence of an intoxicant although a conviction cannot be based solely on this evidence, Sec. 885.235(1g)(b). The prosecution must present other evidence, such as poor driving or failure to properly perform field sobriety tests, to prove that you were under the influence of an intoxicant. At Hayes & Rothstein, we work tirelessly to keep your record clean so you can achieve your goals with as few obstacles as possible.
What if I wasn’t driving and I consumed or possessed alcohol?
This is not a traffic offense although the fact of a conviction can appear on your driving record abstract for up to five years and your operating privileges can be suspended. If you are 17-20, a first offense conviction for underage possession or consumption of alcohol under Sec. 125.07(4)(b) will result in a forfeiture of $100-200 plus costs and a 30- to 90-day suspension of operating privileges, if a suspension is ordered by the court.
Contact an OWI lawyer in Milwaukee today for a free initial consultation
If you have been arrested for an OWI and you are under the age of 21, call an attorney today to discuss your rights and the best course of action for your future. You may have a defense to the charge or there may be diversion alternatives that you should discuss with an attorney at Hayes & Rothstein. You can schedule a free consultation with the attorneys of Hayes & Rothstein, by calling us at 414.291.9911 or contacting us online.