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Elements of DUI (OWI) in Wisconsin

The elements of an OWI offense are that a person is stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.  The Wisconsin statute defines that a driver is under the influence when their ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired.  It further states that a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired if they are less able to safely control the vehicle because of the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances.

In one element that differs from some states, a driver does not have to be actually driving the vehicle to be arrested for an OWI.  The vehicle can be parked, but running and the driver can still be arrested for an OWI offense.

The state of Wisconsin uses a BAC (Blood / Breath Alcohol Concentration) level for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) of 0.08 percent BAC.  This rate is similar to most states in the Unites States.  The 0.08 BAC standard applies to first, second, and third OWI offenses.  For the fourth and subsequent incidents, the BAC standard decreases to .02 percent.

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