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Bucher Law Group, LLC

What Are the Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Drunk Driving

Milwaukee County drunk driving defense attorney

In recent years, the number of teenagers and underage young adults who drink and drive has decreased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of high school students who drink and drive has fallen by more than half since 1991. Though this number has gone down, in 2017, more than 16% of high school students reported that they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Underage drinking and driving is a serious issue, because teens are already three times more likely to get into a fatal accident than adults--and alcohol only exacerbates that statistic. In many states, underage drinking and driving penalties have become more strict, including in the state of Wisconsin, where it is referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI).

Absolute Sobriety Law

Most states have a law stating that those who are under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive if they have alcohol in their systems. In Wisconsin, drivers who are under 21 years old are not permitted to have a BAC of more than 0.00 if they are operating a motor vehicle. This is called Wisconsin’s Absolute Sobriety or “Not a Drop” law. A violation of this law will result in a $200 fine, four demerit points on an individual’s driver’s license, and a three-month driver’s license suspension.

General Drunk Driving Laws

In addition to the Absolute Sobriety Law, underage drivers are also subject to the same laws that apply to all drivers. If a driver under the age of 21 has a BAC of 0.08 or more, he or she can be charged with an OWI in Wisconsin. A first-time OWI offender will face $150 to $300 in fines in addition to a $435 OWI surcharge and a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation. If the minor’s BAC is more than 0.15 when he or she is arrested, the minor will also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in his or her vehicle or participate in a 24/7 sobriety program for at least one year.

Contact a Waukesha County Underage OWI Defense Attorney 

For many young adults under the age of 21 in the United States, drinking alcohol is a common rite of passage. Statistics show that drivers who are under 21 are more likely to get into a fatal car accident than older motorists under normal driving conditions. When drivers are under the influence of alcohol, the likelihood of a crash is even higher. In Wisconsin, underage drinking and driving is a serious penalty, and even a first offense can jeopardize someone’s driving privileges. At the Bucher Law Group, LLC, we understand the effect a DUI could have on your child’s driving record and future. Call our knowledgeable Milwaukee County drunk driving defense lawyers today at 262-303-4916 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teendrinkinganddriving/index.html

https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/safety/education/drunk-drv/owipenaltychart.pdf

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/346/X/63

https://www.t-driver.com/know-the-risks/high-school/impaired-driving/

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