How Long Does a Wisconsin DUI Stay on Your Record?

By RowesProse

There are several acronyms for drunk driving--DUI, DWI and, in Wisconsin, the law uses the term OWI (operating while intoxicated). People who have a blood/breath alcohol concentration of .08 or higher are considered legally drunk and no one under the age of 21 can have any alcohol in his system.

Your Record

If convicted of an OWI in Wisconsin, the offense stays on your record forever. Before a conviction and with a lawyer it is possible to get the charge reduced or a plea bargain.


The first OWI conviction involves several hundred dollars in fines, license suspension and alcohol assessment. The more OWIs, the larger the penalties, including jail time and installation of an ignition lock device.


Obviously, driving drunk includes many risks--such as injury and death--and penalties, but OWIs are also public record, available for anyone to read.


Wisconsin has the highest drunk driving rate in the country with more than 25 percent of the population admitting to driving drunk in 2008. Over 40 percent of all fatal traffic crashes in Wisconsin are alcohol-related.


Pick a designated driver, use mass transit, take a taxi or call a friend to take you home. The Tavern League of Wisconsin has the "Saferide Program" that works with many bars and restaurants to provide safe rides home.

About the Author

Rowe Prose graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in cinema and photography. Prose also holds an Associates degrees in fine arts, electronics technology and human services from Rock Valley College. Prose has worked as an electrician for more than 30 years.

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