OWI Punishments More Severe for Teen Drivers

High school and college students are heading towards the finish line of their school year and with that comes parties and, unfortunately, some bad choices. This time of year, police officers in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Eau Claire, Eau Claire, County, Menomonie, Dunn County,  Rice Lake or Barron County, Wisconsin often see a rise in OWI / DUI criminal arrests and it’s not uncommon that some of those drivers are under the legal drinking age. 

What many teens do not realize is that in Wisconsin DUI driving under the influence or OWI operating under the influence punishments are more severe when the driver is under 21.With so much at stake, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced juvenile DUI attorney if you or a younger family member is facing juvenile OWI charges.


A first time juvenile DUI offense for driving under the influence of alcohol or weed is often met with a fine of a few hundred dollars as well as a suspended driver’s license for up to 9 months. While this penalty is the same as for an adult, more severe penalties will arise if additional convictions occur.

If another DUI conviction happens within 10 years of the first, the fines can go up to $1000 and include a year in prison. That’s not all, it will most likely lead to a suspended driver’s license for at least one year, if not more. Obviously, this can have an immediate financial and social impact and that is just the beginning. 

Newer drivers are already viewed as an at-risk group with regards to safe driving in general. Even if the driver had just one drink, the penalties for juvenile drunk driving are stricter than those for drivers who are 21 years or older. In Wisconsin, the OWI law for minors has a zero tolerance policy for juveniles caught driving with any unlawful, impairing substance such as weed or prescription drugs in their body system. Any BAC reading above 0.00% is counted as a juvenile DUI crime but individuals who are 21 and over with a .08 BAC or below do not receive an OWI charge consequently.

A juvenile OWI conviction for just one offense will have a negative, long-term financial impact too, such as additional premium costs every month or, even worse, no insurance since the company may drop policies without warning or a chance to renew. 


Drunk driving charges or OWI/DUI (operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence) charges are very complex which is why it’s so vital that you hire an expert defense lawyer specialized in juvenile OWI and DUI cases.

As an example, there are many detailed processes involved in bodily specimen tests. Often an OWI defense lawyer will discover mistakes like incorrect readings when it comes to proof of alcohol, marijuana or even prescription drugs that come with warnings about operating heavy machinery while taking. 

An experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer with expertise in this area can scrutinize the process of how the blood was evaluated and whether the equipment used to examine the results was functioning properly.

There can also be many other defenses such as constitutional violations and defenses relating to a juvenile DUI charge, which an unpracticed individual will not be able to understand. This is why these complicated DWI cases require someone who has the skill and knowledge in defending them.

If you or someone you know has been charged with juvenile OWI in Wisconsin, it’s crucial to hire the best juvenile DUI lawyer in Wisconsin to defend your case. Contact the attorneys at Mullen Schlough & Associates S.C. today for a free consultation and to learn about their payment plans..

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