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  • Dan Skarie

OWI 1st Offense Waukesha County Circuit Court No IID Required

Sometimes new clients come into my office with simple goals. They recognize that avoiding any penalty entirely is unrealistic and wish to minimize the consequences as much as possible. In this case, the client was arrested by a Waukesha County Sheriff's Deputy for OWI 1st offense. The facts contained in the police report were difficult. The Deputy alleged a great deal of physical impairment and an alcohol concentration of .17 g/210L of breath. In Wisconsin, if there is a finding that the client's blood or breath alcohol concentration is at or above .15 g/210L of breath, the Court is required to order the defendant to install an ignition interlock device ("IID") in any vehicle titled in his or her name for the period of one year. The IID is costly, embarrassing and expensive. For clients with multiple vehicles and those who drive for work, the IID imposes additional problems. This was such a case. Client's goal from the outset was to avoid the IID requirement.


The case started in Municipal Court. OWI 1st offense is a civil violation, meaning that depending on the jurisdiction of the arresting agency, cases may start in local traffic court. After an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the municipal court judge to approve an amendment to a .149 BAC finding, we appealed the case to circuit court. Subsequently a resolution was reached with the prosecution amending the client's blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving to .149. The prosecutor obtained a conviction without the cost and expense of a trial and the client was able to avoid the IID requirement. Positive outcome for both parties considering the facts of the case.