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Wisconsin OWI - What happens to my Minnesota license?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="An enlargeable map of the 72 counties of the state of Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]An enlargeable map of the 72 counties of the s...[/caption] Recently an individual on our DUI forum asked what would happen to their Minnesota driver’s license if they are charged with a DUI in another state. In this particular instance the state was Wisconsin. If this driver is convicted of OWI or operating a motorized vehicle while impaired (as defined by Wisconsin DUI statute 346.63 Operating Under the Influence of intoxicant or other drug) they are facing fines of $150 - $300, a license suspension for 6-9 months, and mandatory alcohol education classes. Drivers may be arrested if their blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit of 0.08% or higher or if their BAC is lower but they are unable to safely drive.

What happens to my out of state license after Wisconsin OWI charge?

  At this point many states have become members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact agreement. This is an agreement between the 45 member states to trade information concerning specific traffic violations and crimes including DUI and vehicular manslaughter in each state. Nevada was the first state to become a member of this agreement but now 27 other states have joined. The five states that are not members are: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The fact that Minnesota is not a member of this compact may be good news for this driver, but there seems to be some disagreement about whether or not Wisconsin will report a OWI arrest to another state and I was unable to locate information on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website about this question, although the Wisconsin Department of Transportation clearly states that if you have been convicted of a drunk driving charge in another state you and you apply for a Wisconsin license you will, “have to provide proof that you have undergone an assessment and completed an alcohol program. This law applies even if you have met all the requirements in the state where you were convicted of OWI. Contact the Alcohol/Drug Review Unit at (608) 261-8202 for further information.” Another DUI lawyer stated that he believed that the Minnesota driver should challenge the revocation in Wisconsin within the specific time period and if the driver did not win their Wisconsin administrative hearing that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would notify Minnesota and the driver’s privileges to drive would be suspended based on Minnesota’s driving privileges. The lawyer stated he believed that the state of Minnesota would send the driver notification of the suspension.

Hiring a DUI lawyer

  As you can see, based on the confusion and the complexity of DUI and OWI laws in each state it is critical that you talk to an OWI lawyer who is familiar with Wisconsin OWI laws. Laws change and states frequently update their legislation to deal with drunk driving infractions. If you have questions you can also contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and ask them what their policy is for reporting a OWI to another state. If they do plan to report the OWI, than you may be facing a drunk driving administrative license suspension in both states. This may not matter too much unless you work and travel between the states and need to be able to drive in each state.
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