Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) – Driver’s License Suspensions

As most of us know, there are certain consequences to getting convicted of an OWI in Wisconsin.  Those consequences can include the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that you own or operate, revocation of your driver’s license, hefty fines, and even jail time.  However, did you know that if you get arrested for an OWI your license could get suspended by the Department of Transportation before you even go to court for the OWI charge?  This is called an administrative suspension and it can last up to six months.

Under §343.305(7) of the Wisconsin Statutes the law says that if you submit to chemical testing of your blood, breath or urine after an arrest for OWI, and if the results come back with an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, your operating privilege will be suspended for 6 months by the Department of Transportation.  However, be careful not to interpret this as a good reason to refuse to participate in blood, breath or urine testing.  Refusing to participate in this testing could place you in violation of Wisconsin’s implied consent laws.  In some instances finding yourself in violation of the implied consent laws by refusing testing can carry more severe consequences for your driver’s license than the OWI itself.  In addition, refusing testing can also result in higher fines and more jail time.

If your blood/breath/urine alcohol results show that you are at or above the legal limit of .08, then the law enforcement agency that arrested you will complete a form called a Notice of Intent to Suspend Operating Privilege and they will mail a copy of this form to you and to the Department of Transportation.  This form will basically put you on notice that your driver’s license will be suspended 30 days from the date on the form.  At the same time you will also receive a form advising you that you have a right to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license.  But to do so, you must complete the forms that you receive from the law enforcement agency by filling out certain information and mailing it back to the Department of Transportation within 10 days, or 13 days if it has been mailed to you.  It is usually best to have an attorney help you with this.

An experienced and aggressive OWI lawyer will almost always challenge this driver’s license suspension for reasons which can best be explained to you by the attorney him/herself.  Therefore, if you have been arrested for an OWI it is in your best interest to talk to an experienced OWI attorney right away.  Do not wait until your court date on the OWI ticket to speak with a lawyer because by then you may have missed out on some important steps in the process of defending yourself against and fighting an OWI charge or citation.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from an attorney or other professional legal service provider.  If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult you attorney or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website. 

The law firm of Simon & Feldhausen, LLC is a Green Bay law office made up of Green Bay attorneys/lawyers who are experienced in the areas of OWI/DUI/DWI and how those charges can impact a person’s employment, freedom, driver’s license, and other areas of a person’s life.