Drinking and driving in Wisconsin is a serious matter, even if the laws do not necessarily reflect that. As the state is known as most lenient for drunk drivers, it is not very surprising that Wisconsin ignition interlock violations and penalties are not too severe. However, lenient though it is, Wisconsin does impose penalties. But to face the full extent of those penalties takes some effort.
Avoiding Wisconsin ignition interlock violations is easy. All you need to do is:
- Install the device as soon as possible, upon a court order.
- Use the device each time you need to drive, exactly as you were instructed. If you are caught driving without the device, you are in for a rough time.
- Never attempt to tamper with the device or circumvent the electrical system.
- Be the person who blows into the device to submit a breath sample if you are the person driving the vehicle.
Remember that it took a lot for you to even have an ignition interlock requirement. In many cases, a Wisconsin OWI is treated as little more than a traffic violation. Interlocks don’t come into the picture until a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) offense occurs, or there are multiple OWIs or other aggravating circumstances surrounding your drunk driving incident (property damage, injuries, or worse).
Failure to comply means that any of those Wisconsin ignition interlock violations have been reported to your probation officer or case manager. You could face up to $600 per offense, up to six months in jail and a mandatory six-month extension in the program. For multiple interlock violations, you could have higher fines or be taken out of the program entirely. Additionally, any BAC amount can be used to charge you with another OWI.