Third OWI Offense Madison Attorney
Consequences for Your 3rd OWI Offense in Madison
Being charged with a DUI for a third time in Dane County or anywhere else in Wisconsin should not be taken lightly. According to Wisconsin statutes, a conviction for a 3rd DUI makes you a repeat offender and the charges you’ll face will be much greater than what they were for your first or second offense DUI charges.
It is MUCH More than Just a Ticket
When you’re charged with your third DUI offense, the rule that your last offense had to occur within ten years no longer applies. Your 3rd DUI conviction in Wisconsin includes any prior DUI convictions, no matter when in your life they occurred.
Anyone with three DUI convictions is permanently subject to a PAC (prohibited alcohol concentration) of .02 in Wisconsin, even if the convictions happened in other states. At any time after your third DUI, if you are caught driving with a BAC of .02 or higher you can be charged with Operating with a PAC, 4th Offense (felony charge).
The penalties for a 3rd OWI charge in Dane County include:
- $600-$2000 in fines
- $435 ‘driver improvement surcharge'
- 2-3 year driver’s license revocation
- 1-3 years required ignition interlock device in vehicle
- 45 days to 1 year in jail
- Legal BAC limit set at .02 for the rest of your life
- Travel ban to Canada and problems traveling in the European Union
Consequences increase significantly if your BAC was over .17 at the time of your 3rd DUI arrest in Wisconsin, and if there was a minor in your vehicle you face a felony charge with much more severe penalties. Worse yet, if you refused a field sobriety test police have the authority to revoke your license immediately for 1-3 years.
Excessive BAC Escalator
If you were arrested for a third DUI in Wisconsin with a BAC of .17 or higher, an Excessive BAC Escalator will be applied. This means that penalties will be doubled if your BAC was between .17 and .199, tripled if your BAC was between .20 and .2499, and quadrupled if it exceeded .25 BAC at the time of your arrest.
- BAC .17 to .199- Penalties Double
- BAC .20 to .2499- Penalties Triple
- BAC .20 or higher- Penalties Quadruple
Arrested with a Passenger Under 16 Years Old
Depending on the circumstances of your third DUI, you could be facing felony charges, a fine of up to $4,000 and 2 years in jail. Felony charges may occur if a minor under the age of 16 was a passenger in the car you were driving at the time of your arrest.
- $1,200-$4,000 in fines
- 90 days to 2 years in jai
- lLicense revocation & IID for 4-6 years in addition to jail time
A 3rd offense OWI is never “just a ticket” in Wisconsin. The officer in your case will tell you about the fines and sentence as though they are your only option. The officer does not have your best interests in mind. There are many unique circumstances that impact the way your case can play out in court, and agreeing to accept the fine is far from your only option.
Defenses Against 3rd DUI
Even the best attorneys in the world won’t be able to get you out of your third DUI conviction, but there’s still hope. Depending on some circumstances it may be possible to get the charges reduced, which could mean less jail time.
Possible defenses against DUI convictions include:
- Illegal Stop: You weren’t speeding, you did nothing wrong, but for some reason you were ticketed for a DUI.
- Incorrectly Conducted Filed Sobriety Test: There are standards for these tests, equipment must be accurate and procedures must be completely followed. If the sobriety tests were not properly performed, you DO have a case.
- The chemical test was not properly done: There are strict professional standards for processing these tests. Proper documentation is required. If not, you have a strong case for DUI charges being dropped.
- Your BAC level was below the legal limit: You were above the legal limit – but not until later, when you were tested. In this case, you are not guilty of driving while intoxicated, because you were not legally intoxicated when you were driving. This is called “the curve defense.”
Refused a Field Sobriety Test
Police have the authority to revoke your license on the spot for 1-3 years (up to 6 years if a passanger under the age of 16 was in the car) if you refuse a field sobriety test.
Unlike other Milwaukee lawyers, Grieve Law is NOT a fee to plea lawyer™. What does this mean for you? It means Grieve Law criminal defense attorneys never make plea deals with the court system because it is faster and easier. Instead, we fight tooth-and-nail over every shred of evidence and produce the most effective defense possible to beat your drunk driving charges.
Experienced OWI Attorneys in Madison
The award-winning legal team at Grieve Law is dedicated to helping our Madison and Wisconsin clients get their DUI charges dropped or reduced. We offer a free initial consultation and flexible payment plans so you can get the legal help necessary for a strong defense.
Know your rights and prepare to fight. Get an insider's understanding with a free initial OWI consultation with Grieve Law.