OWI & Related Offenses

Special Rules for OWI & Related Offenses

Offenses commonly referred to as drunk driving, operating while impaired, or operating with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration actually refer to three separate, but interrelated offenses:

  • Operating while under the influence of an intoxicant, a controlled substance or controlled substance analog, or in any combination of these or any other drug rendering a vehicle's operator incapable of safely driving (OWI)
  • Operating with a detectable amount of a controlled substance in one's bloodstream (ORCS)
  • Operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC or BAC)

First Offense

First offense OWI-related tickets may be handled in municipal court. A driver convicted in Wisconsin or another state within the past 10 years of an OWI-related offense or a refusal to take an alcohol test will be charged criminally, and the matter cannot proceed in municipal court.

Persons charged with first offense OWI-related tickets may request a jury trial on only those tickets by filing a jury demand and paying the appropriate fee within 10 days of their first appearance in the matter, whether that "appearance" is in court and in person or is instead by the court's receipt of a mailed not guilty plea or other mailing constituting an appearance.

Convictions of even first offense OWI-related tickets carry large mandatory forfeitures, mandatory driver license revocations and other consequences.

Procedural Guidance vs Legal Advice

The court will try to provide procedural guidance on request; however, neither Judge Frandson nor his clerk will give legal advice to anyone. The clerk cannot do so because she is not a lawyer. The judge will not do so because he is neutral.