Absolute Sobriety Violation versus an OWI
If you are under the age of 21 and you are arrested for being under the influence, you may not have to have an OWI on your record. To start, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to have any alcohol in his/her system while driving. Drivers who are 21 and older have a legal limit of .08.
If you are under the age of 21 and your blood alcohol concentration is somewhere between 0.00 and 0.10, you may not have to end up with an OWI on your driving record. The absolute sobriety laws in Wisconsin allow for drivers under the age of 21 to have a BAC at or under a .10 to have a driver’s license suspension for three months plus fines, but it will not be counted as an OWI.
This is critical because if it were to ever happen again, it would not carry the heavier penalty of a second offense OWI. In Wisconsin, a second offense OWI is not only a criminal offense, but it also comes with mandatory jail time. With an absolute sobriety violation, if it happened again, you are looking at a first offense OWI, which at its most basic level is not criminal.
However, police have discretion when charging something like this, and it is not necessarily always an option. Even under the age of 21, there are drivers who have OWI convictions.
You are only guilty if you are convicted™