Canfield and Lutz
Canfield & Lutz, LLC is located in Milwaukee, WI and primarily serves Southeastern Wisconsin.
414.935.2810 (office)
414.935.2821 (fax)
6944 N Port Washington Rd.
Suite 206
Milwaukee, WI 53217



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CJ Creative Design

OWI - Operating While Intoxicated

Drunk driving law in Wisconsin

It is illegal in Wisconsin for a driver over the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle:

For drivers with three or more prior Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) convictions, the limit is lower: they cannot operate a motor vehicle if their BAC is greater than 0.02
Drivers under 21 years of age are required by law to maintain "absolute sobriety," and, for them, driving with any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal.


A driver is "under the influence" when his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. A person's ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired if he or she is less able to safely control the vehicle because of the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances. This means that if a police officer pulls you over and determines that you are impaired by alcohol and/or any other drug, you could be arrested and prosecuted, regardless of your BAC.

Penalties for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated range from a forfeiture and license revocation for a first offense, to up to six years imprisonment, three year license revocation and possible seizure of vehicles for subsequent offenses. Additionally, more severe penalties apply if injury or death results.

But no matter what your legal status, it is always wise to avoid driving if you have been drinking.

Helpful Links


I just got my first OWI. What happens if I get another?

Wisconsin is one of the few remaining states that has not criminalized a first offense OWI. However, any subsequent OWI you receive will be a criminal offense and conviction will likely result in mandatory jail time.