What's the Difference Between DUI and OWI in Wisconsin?by Gamino Law Offices on 03/16/14
Drunk driving is a crime in Wisconsin – one that carries serious penalties if you’re convicted. However, we have different classifications for drunk driving here: DUI and OWI. The law considers them all punishable offenses, but the degree of punishment will vary based on how the judge categorizes the crime. Your Milwaukee criminal defense attorney can explain which penalties might apply in your case, which can also vary based upon prior convictions.
Wisconsin’s Legal Alcohol Limit
The legal alcohol limit in Wisconsin is 0.08 for most people, which is measured through a Breathalyzer or a blood test, and refers to the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream or on their breath. It’s technically the amount of ethanol in either 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath; that’s why it’s called BAC, or blood/breath alcohol concentration.
So what’s the difference between a DUI and an OWI?
Driving Under the Influence and Operating While Intoxicated
A DUI, or driving under the influence, and a OWI, which refers to operating while intoxicated, can be used interchangeably. There’s essentially no difference, but OWI is generally the term of choice for locals.
DUI/OUI Penalties in Wisconsin
Whether you’re in Milwaukee, Waukesha or elsewhere in Wisconsin, a DUI/OWI can seriously affect the rest of your life. The penalties for DUI/OUI in Wisconsin are often very harsh and can include long-term imprisonment and steep fines; you could lose your driving privileges, be sentenced to community service, or have your occupational license revoked.
In many cases, a person’s past history can come back to haunt them after being charged with a DUI/OWI. Previous convictions can quickly escalate current penalties – and that’s exactly why you need someone like attorney Carlos A. Gamiño on your side. Your job, your family and even your freedom are at stake, even if this is your first drunk driving offense; don’t take any chances that you don’t need to take.