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Under 21, and Busted for OWI in Wisconsin? Don’t Give Up Yet

Wisconsin’s Laws and Penalties for Minors Facing Drunk Driving Charges

Under 21 OWI Wisconsin

Getting an underage drinking ticket OR a DUI charge is bad enough on its own, but what happens when you’re caught drunk driving AND you’re under 21? 

Tom Grieve, Milwaukee’s DUI lawyer, explains the penalties for getting a DUI under 21 in Wisconsin and urges underage drivers to remember: OWI charges don’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. 

Our criminal defense attorneys have negotiated multiple felonies down to misdemeanors, non-criminal tickets and outright dismissal of charges. Through negotiation or jury trial our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys faithfully represent your interests to the fullest under criminal law. Grieve Law LLC has the firearm, criminal defense, drug and DUI attorneys in Waukesha and Milwaukee that surrounding areas trust for powerful results.


Wisconsin's Absolute Sobriety Law

Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” alcohol laws apply to all persons under the age of 21. The law mandates absolute sobriety, making it illegal for anyone underage to operate a motor vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol.

If you've been arrested for an underage DUI in Wisconsin, you need to understand the serious consequences of getting an OWI conviction under the age of 21, and how an experienced drunk driving lawyer can help you fight an absolute sobriety charge.

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Harsh Penalties for an Underage OWI Conviction in Wisconsin:

If the prosecution convinces a judge you had any alcohol in your system when you were pulled over, you can be found guilty of violating the Absolute Sobriety Law and face serious penalties:

  • $200 fine
  • Immediate 3-month license suspension
  • 4 Driver’s License demerit points
  • May apply for an occupational license immediately with SR-22 insurance form
  • Fine & suspension doubled if passenger under age of 16 is in vehicle at the time

Anyone under the age of 21 who is arrested for a DUI with a BAC above .08 faces the same consequences as a person of legal drinking age, in addition to Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” penalties.

Refusing a field sobriety test or chemical test at the scene will result in an immediate license revocation for a minimum of 1 year.

An Absolute Sobriety ticket can be amended depending on your circumstances. Contact an experienced OWI attorney before you resign yourself to having an underage OWI conviction on your record.

First Offense Under 21 OWI Milwaukee

Learn more about DUI Statistics in Wisconsin

Underage Drinking Tickets During DUI Arrest

Underage drinking is a non-criminal offense and you won’t get jail time just for being a minor in consumption of alcohol. But a drinking ticket stays on your driving record and may have an impact on your insurance rates. If you get a drinking ticket in college, you may face additional penalties from your school or risk losing a scholarship.

Wisconsin’s Drinking Laws for Minors

Wisconsin Statute 125.07 (4)(b) says you are guilty of an underage drinking violation if: you are underage and knowingly possess or consume alcohol and are not accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse of legal drinking age.

Drunk Driving AND Underage = Double Trouble

If you are under the age of 21 and arrested for a DUI in Wisconsin, you will face underage DUI penalties AND likely further penalties related to underage drinking. Underage drinking tickets are generally split into two categories: Underage (age 17-20) and Juvenile (under 17).

Juvenile penalties are generally more lenient and remain mostly confidential.

Juvenile Alcohol Possession or Consumption

  • $50-$500 in fines
  • 30 days-2 years suspension of driving privileges
  • Possible substance abuse assessment and treatment

Underage Alcohol Possession or Consumption

  • $100-$1,000 in fines
  • 30 days-2 years driver’s license suspension
  • Possible substance abuse assessment and treatment

Juvenile Purchasing Alcohol or Misrepresenting Age

  • $250-$500 in fines
  • 30 days-2 years driver’s license suspension
  • Possible substance abuse assessment and treatment

Underage Purchasing Alcohol or Misrepresenting Age

  • $250-$1,000 in fines
  • 30 days-2 years driving privilege suspension
  • Possible substance abuse assessment and treatment

Juvenile Using or Possessing a Fake ID

  • $100-$500 in fines
  • 30 days-2 years suspension of driving privileges
  • Possible substance abuse assessment and treatment

Underage Use or Possession of a Fake ID

  • $300-$1,250 in fines
  • 30-90 day driver’s license suspension

Driver Under 21 with Alcohol in Vehicle (Opened or Unopened)

  • $20-$400 fine
  • 30 days-2 years of driving privileges suspendedd

Driver’s license suspensions for Underage and Juvenile drinking convictions begin when the driver is eligible to:

  • Have their license issued for the first time
  • Renew their license
  • Reinstate their license from a previous suspension or revocation

In some cases, an experienced DUI attorney can help you get your underage drinking and driving charges reduced or even dismissed. Many Wisconsin municipalities allow offenders opportunities to participate in alcohol awareness programs which may lead to having the ticket removed from your record.

Before you do anything else, contact Tom Grieve for a free consultation and find out how an attorney may be able to fight your DUI charges.

Wisconsin's Drinking Laws Changed since 2016

Starting in January 2017, there are even harsher penalties for repeat DUI offenders. Over 21? Learn about other Wisconsin drunk driving penalties: 

Milwaukee Defense Lawyer for Underage DUI ChargesUnderage DUI Fines penalties sentencing Milwaukee Attorney

A DUI under 21 years old puts you behind the 8-ball for your entire adult life. Even a first offense DUI in Wisconsin follows you throughout your life. An experienced OWI lawyer knows the best way to deal with underage OWI charges and can help you save money and protect your future.

If you were arrested for underage drinking and driving in Wisconsin, you need the best DUI attorney in Milwaukee to beat your drunk driving charges. Tom Grieve spent years as a prosecutor working on DUI cases. He knows the prosecution’s game plan better than any other DUI defense lawyer in Milwaukee.

Tom’s remarkable defense work has earned him national recognition and numerous legal honors. Tom is known for getting his clients’ DUI charges reduced or eliminated altogether!

Contact the DUI attorney Milwaukee trusts to deliver a case-winning defense and schedule your FREE DUI case evaluation with award-winning attorney, Tom Grieve.
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