Wisconsin Drinking Age Law
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess or consume alcohol as well as enter an establishment that sells alcohol. They also can't obtain, carry or provide an inaccurate ID card or misrepresent their age for purposes of obtaining alcohol. First offense penalties in Ozaukee County include a hefty fine plus possible loss of drivers license for 90 days. See full details at Wisconsin Drinking Age Law.
Drinking age convictions stay on your state record for five years and can impact future job opportunities or obtaining licensure in a chosen profession! To view your state record, go to: Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Web Site.
Wisconsin Not a Drop Law
A person under the age of 21 may not drive with any BAC (blood alcohol concentration). Penalties include a three-month suspension of driving privileges plus any other charges brought under Wisconsin's Drinking Age or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Laws.
Wisconsin Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Law
While it's risky to operate a motor vehicle after consuming any alcohol, an OWI generally involves a BAC of .08% or higher. An OWI arrest may also result from a BAC below .08% if there is evidence of significant impairment.
For additional details about Wisconsin’s operating while intoxicated law, go to: Operating While Intoxicated Laws.
Drunk Driving Law
It is illegal in Wisconsin for a driver over the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle:
- With a Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater;
- While under the influence of an intoxicant;
- With a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood; or
- While under the influence of a controlled substance or any other drug.
For drivers with three or more prior Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) convictions, the limit is lower: they cannot operate a motor vehicle if their BAC is greater than 0.02. Drivers under 21 years of age are required by law to maintain "absolute sobriety," and, for them, driving with any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal.
A driver is "under the influence" when his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. A person's ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired if he or she is less able to safely control the vehicle because of the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances. This means that if a police officer pulls you over and determines that you are impaired by alcohol and/or any other drug; you could be arrested and prosecuted, regardless of your BAC.
Penalties for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated range from a forfeiture and license revocation for a first offense, to up to six years imprisonment, three year license revocation and possible seizure of vehicles for subsequent offenses. Additionally, more severe penalties apply if injury or death results.