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I got a DUI in Wisconsin with an Iowa driver’s license. Now what?

Penalties of IA resident getting DUI in WI

Get Your DUI Charges Dropped & Avoid Drunk Driving Penalties

Iowa residents who get convicted of a DUI in Wisconsin suffer consequences in IA & WI, including but not limited to the revocation of driving privileges. Milwaukee DUI lawyer Tom Grieve explains the 5 most important things you need to know about the charges you're facing and the penalties they carry.

You Are Only Guilty If You Are Convicted®

How an OWI Conviction in Wisconsin Affects Drivers with an Iowa License

1. Iowa will find out about your OWI in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin will not tell Iowa about your OWI because Wisconsin is not a part of the Interstate Compact. Instead, the conviction is uploaded into a nationwide database accessible by every state in the USA. Iowa can use that to take action against your Iowa driver's license. States aren't checking this database daily for new cases, but it will more likely than not show up when you renew your license.

2. You will face penalties in Iowa for your Wisconsin OWI.

A first offense DUI conviction will cause Iowa to revoke your license for 90 days. During this time you can get a temporary restricted license (TRL). If you're BAC is higher than .15, you're not eligible for a TRL until after the first 30 days of the revocation, and it will not be issued until you have installed an ignition interlock device (IID), shown proof of SR22, and paid a $200 civil penalty.

3. Your Wisconsin operating privileges will be revoked.

Wisconsin imposes DUI penalties, including a period of revocation and possibly IID installation, on your operating privileges. Occupational licenses in Wisconsin are not available to people without Wisconsin driver's licenses. You cannot legally drive in WI until your revocation period has elapsed and you have paid reinstatement fees.

4. Reinstating your Iowa driver's license is complicated.

A DUI conviction makes reinstating your license in Iowa harder than if it were revoked/suspended for things like non-payment of fines. Getting your license back requires 5 things:Out-of-State DUI for Iowa Residents in WI

  • Pay a $200 civil penalty
  • Present proof of completion of a course for drinking drivers (online courses not accepted)
  • Present proof of completion of a substance abuse evaluation and treatment or rehabilitation services
  • Complies with financial responsibility law (SR22), if applicable
  • Complies with interlock requirement (IID), if applicable

Iowa requires all drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked for over a year to take all the driving tests again.

5. Your 1st DUI is a criminal offense everywhere but Wisconsin.

An OWI first offense is not a criminal offense in Wisconsin. It is a civil forfeiture and is treated similarly to a traffic ticket. There is no criminal conviction. Iowa and every other state in the nation treat the first offense OWI as a criminal offense. OWIs only become a criminal offense in Wisconsin when they are your second or greater conviction.

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Wisconsin DUI Attorney Successfully Defends Drivers Facing Out-of-State OWI Charges

We have a long track record of helping clients get their OWI charges reduced or dropped. Wisconsin's drunk driving penalties have been increasing over the years, and a DUI conviction sticks with you for the rest of your life.

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