Governor Scott Walker had enacted in 2018 a new law for those convicted of a OWI 4th offense or higher. This is 2017 Senate Bill 135, which was published 2017 Wisconsin Act 172.
Under the new law, those convicted of an OWI 4th offense or higher will have their driving privileges revoked for life if the previous offense was within 15 years. Offenders will not be eligible for an occupational license, but they may apply for reinstatement of their license 10 years after the conviction. In order to reinstate, the driver must file and maintain proof of financial responsibility for the future. These specific requirements can be found in Wisconsin Statute 344.24. In order to further qualify for reinstatement, the driver must not have been convicted of another OWI-related offense in that 10-year waiting period, and they have to comply with an assessment for the use of drugs or alcohol 45 days before the request.
This lifetime revocation can also apply in cases where a driver has two convictions of either vehicle-related crimes that are considered felonies (i.e. certain OWIs involving injury) or violations of 940.06, 940.09, or 940.10, which are homicide offenses in which a vehicle is used. However, there are different timeline requirements for this.
Now that someone’s license can be revoked for a lifetime, the penalties for operating after revocation have also changed. For a first offense, the potential penalties have been increased to a $2500.00 fine or one-year jail, or both if the revocation was due to an OWI-related offense. For a second offense, the potential penalties involve a $10,000.00 fine, or one-year jail, or both.
Learn more about Wisconsin rules, regulations, and laws regarding the service of alcohol with Municipal City Clerk Association recommended Wisconsin Responsible Alcohol Course from Serving Alcohol Inc.
Original article published by Attorney Tom Grieve of Grieve Law