Sometimes people may have the impression it is cheaper to pay your ticket and move on with life. Unfortunately, such is not the case, the amount you’re required to pay right off the bat (the amount listed on the top right hand corner of the citation) is not the final amount you will pay upon conviction. This immediate forfeiture amount typically lies between $700.00-$1,000.00 and this is just the beginning of your financial burdens.
Out of Pocket Costs
If you are convicted of an OWI first in the State of Wisconsin you will be subjected to a mandatory AODA assessment (alcohol and drug assessment). This will typically cost several hundred to even a thousand dollars out of pocket and it doesn’t end there. While an OWI first in the State of Wisconsin is a civil ordinance violation ticket and not a criminal offense, we are the only state in America which views it as such. Meaning if you ever apply for a job out of state, your future employer may believe you have been convicted of a crime or even served jail time. Not to mention if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was above the legal limit, but below .15, your driver’s license will be revoked for a period of six to nine months. During this time, you may apply for an occupational license which comes with its own set of expenses and paperwork. Upon receiving your occupational license, you will only be able to drive during certain hours of the day, typically before and after work. You can only drive 60 hours per week on an occupational license. That may seem like a lot of time on the road, but its highly restricted. Most people’s driving obligations span far beyond these time restrictions affecting both your personal and social life.
SR-22-High Risk Insurance
After conviction you are required to update your automobile insurance to Wisconsin’s high risk auto insurance, otherwise known as SR-22 insurance. While you won’t be subjected to SR-22 insurance for life, don’t think for one second insurance companies will simply forget about your drunk driving conviction. You could potentially see your auto insurance premiums increase to double or even triple your normal rate. Depending on how long you are required to keep SR-22 insurance you could potentially be facing a loss of hundreds to even thousands of dollars.
If it isn’t already clear it is in your benefit to fight an OWI conviction. Hopefully, the financial and social burden of an ignition interlock will change your mind. Depending on the severity of your case and whether you’ve chosen an experienced attorney, you may need an ignition interlock device installed in your car. You might be thinking, so what is an ignition interlock device? An ignition interlock is a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The device works like a breathalyzer, measuring the alcohol in a person’s system. If the amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath exceeds a pre-programmed level, then the interlock temporarily locks the vehicle’s ignition. This device can cost up to $1,000.00 annually per car, keep in mind you must have an ignition interlock installed on any vehicle registered and titled in your name. Driving without an ignition interlock in the State of Wisconsin, if you are required to have one, could result in months of jail time as well as thousands of dollars more in fines. The interlock also changes your minimum BAC from .08% to .02% for most people blowing a .02% BAC requires less than one drink. Driving with a .02% or above BAC with an ignition interlock will essentially count as a second drunk driving offense, leading to the possibility of six months jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
So What Can Be Done?
There is plenty at stake when you receive your OWI conviction, don’t fight this up-hill battle alone. At the Konstantakis Law Office we fight to have your charges reduced or ultimately dismissed all together. Time is of the essence after receiving an OWI citation, do not hesitate to call our offices for a free consultation. Taking on an OWI citation by yourself leaves you liable to interpreting and handling all these legal variables while maintaining your social, personal, and professional life. Let us take the burden off your shoulders.
Essentially the system is rigged against you, unless of course you’re an expert in occupational license forms, AODA requirements, SR-22 forms, and the legal procedures surrounding an OWI case. Receiving an OWI citation in the State of Wisconsin is a very serious matter, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. The consequences of conviction are dire and can be extremely complex. This is why it is of the utmost importance to seek legal representation and not take your conviction lying down. Our firm is tried and proven in the area of drunk driving. We know what it takes to save you time, money, and stress. It’s your future why roll the dice with it? Call us today!