In my previous post about Wisconsin\’s drunk driving laws, I referred to Wisconsin\’s lenient statute with regard to DUI penalties. While the NCSL chart listed all drunk driving offenses in Wisconsin as civil violations, this isn\’t entirely accurate. Just to be clear, here is the actual criminal penalty statute for drunk driving in Wisconsin:

346.65 Penalty for violating sections 346.62 to 346.64 (Wisconsin\’s Drunk Driving Statute)

346.65 (2)(am)
(am) Any person violating s. 346.63 (1):(The drunk driving law)

346.65
346.65 (2)(am)1.   (First Conviction)
1. Shall forfeit not less than $150 nor more than $300, except as provided in subds. 2. to 5. and par. (f).

346.65
346.65 (2)(am)2. (Second Conviction)
2. Except as provided in pars. (bm) and (f), shall be fined not less than $350 nor more than $1,100 and imprisoned for not less than 5 days nor more than 6 months if the number of convictions under ss. 940.09 (1) and 940.25 in the person\’s lifetime, plus the total number of suspensions, revocations, and other convictions counted under s. 343.307 (1) within a 10-year period, equals 2, except that suspensions, revocations, or convictions arising out of the same incident or occurrence shall be counted as one.

346.65
346.65 (2)(am)3. (Third Conviction)
3. Except as provided in pars. (cm), (f), and (g), shall be fined not less than $600 nor more than $2,000 and imprisoned for not less than 30 days nor more than one year in the county jail if the number of convictions under ss. 940.09 (1) and 940.25 in the person\’s lifetime, plus the total number of suspensions, revocations, and other convictions counted under s. 343.307 (1), equals 3, except that suspensions, revocations, or convictions arising out of the same incident or occurrence shall be counted as one.

346.65
346.65 (2)(am)4. (Fourth Conviction)
4. Except as provided in pars. (f) and (g), shall be fined not less than $600 nor more than $2,000 and imprisoned for not less than 60 days nor more than one year in the county jail if the number of convictions under ss. 940.09 (1) and 940.25 in the person\’s lifetime, plus the total number of suspensions, revocations and other convictions counted under s. 343.307 (1), equals 4, except that suspensions, revocations or convictions arising out of the same incident or occurrence shall be counted as one.

346.65
346.65 (2)(am)5. (Fifth Conviction and Beyond)
5. Except as provided in pars. (f) and (g), is guilty of a Class H felony and shall be fined not less than $600 and imprisoned for not less than 6 months if the number of convictions under ss. 940.09 (1) and 940.25 in the person\’s lifetime, plus the total number of suspensions, revocations and other convictions counted under s. 343.307 (1), equals 5 or more, except that suspensions, revocations or convictions arising out of the same incident or occurrence shall be counted as one.

346.65(2)(f) (If a Minor Is In the Car)
(f) If there was a minor passenger under 16 years of age in the motor vehicle at the time of the violation that gave rise to the conviction under s. 346.63 (1), the applicable minimum and maximum forfeitures, fines, or imprisonment under par. (am) for the conviction are doubled. An offense under s. 346.63 (1) that subjects a person to a penalty under par. (am) 3., 4., or 5. when there is a minor passenger under 16 years of age in the motor vehicle is a felony and the place of imprisonment shall be determined under s. 973.02

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