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The consequences of a DUI Conviction: What to expect

DUI and Traffic expertise

TLDR

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Wisconsin, as it is in most states across the United States. While it’s well-known that DUI convictions can lead to legal trouble, many people are not fully aware of the comprehensive consequences that come with such convictions. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you can expect when facing a DUI conviction in Wisconsin, from legal penalties to the impact on your personal and professional life. 

Legal Consequences 

Criminal Penalties 

Wisconsin has strict DUI laws, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. These penalties can include fines, probation, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time, especially for repeat offenders. 

For a first-time DUI offense, you can expect: 

– A fine of up to $300 

– License suspension for 6-9 months 

– Mandatory attendance at an alcohol assessment program 

– Possible ignition interlock device installation 

– Potential jail time (up to 6 months) 

Repeat offenders face more severe consequences, including longer license suspensions, increased fines, and longer jail sentences. 

Criminal Record 

DUI conviction will result in a criminal record, which can have long-lasting consequences. This record can affect your ability to find employment, obtain housing, or secure loans in the future. 

Insurance Premiums 

Your auto insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket after a DUI conviction. Insurance companies view DUI convictions as a high-risk factor, and you may face substantial increases in your rates, or even have your policy canceled altogether. 

Administrative Consequences 

Driver’s License Suspension 

In Wisconsin, the Department of Transportation can suspend your driver’s license immediately upon arrest if you refuse a breathalyzer test or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit. The length of the suspension will depend on factors like prior convictions and BAC levels. 

Ignition Interlock Device 

For some DUI offenders, an ignition interlock device (IID) may be required to reinstate their driving privileges. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on their breath. 

Personal and Professional Consequences 

Reputation 

A DUI conviction can tarnish your personal and professional reputation. Friends, family, and colleagues may view you differently, and it can be challenging to regain their trust. 

Employment 

Certain professions, such as commercial truck driving or jobs requiring security clearance, may be off-limits for individuals with a DUI conviction. Many employers conduct background checks and may be hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record. 

Education 

If you are a student, a DUI conviction can affect your eligibility for financial aid and scholarships. It may also lead to disciplinary actions from your educational institution. 

Summing it all up 

A DUI conviction in Wisconsin comes with a multitude of consequences that extend far beyond the legal penalties. It can impact your personal life, your ability to maintain gainful employment, and your future prospects. Given the serious nature of DUI offenses, it is crucial to avoid drinking and driving at all costs. If you do find yourself facing DUI charges, it’s essential to seek legal counsel to navigate the legal process and minimize the potential consequences. Ultimately, the best way to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction is to never get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Your life and the lives of others on the road are far too valuable to risk. 

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