Are Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory for an OWI offense in Wisconsin?

Are Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory for an OWI offense in Wisconsin?

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are a penalty you could suffer in some OWI convictions in Wisconsin.  IIDs are required under Wisconsin law during your first OWI offense if your BAC (blood alcohol level) is .15 or above, any repeat OWI offense, or if you refuse to chemical testing to determine your BAC level. You must install an IID in every vehicle you drive and blow into a mouthpiece before the vehicle will start and/or continue operating.  Essentially, these devices are personal breathalyzers for your vehicle and can impact your life greatly. 

The court can order installation of an IID to take place either before the conclusion of your case or after you are convicted. Having one of these devices installed can be both embarrassing and financially detrimental.  IIDs are expensive, with the annual cost of installation, monthly service and removal coming out to upwards of $900 per year or more.  This cost is in addition to the expensive price of the OWI fine.

However, if you retain experienced legal counsel, there are many ways in which your charges can be reduced or fully dismissed.

How Can an Experienced Attorney Beat or Reduce My OWI Charges?

If you are facing an OWI conviction, your future can be salvaged. There are various ways an experienced attorney can fight your charges so you can avoid the costly and future-threatening impacts of an OWI conviction.

  • An attorney can effectively argue your traffic stop was illegal, your chemical test results were inaccurate and that your field sobriety test was inaccurate.
  • A collateral attack can be initiated. This is a legal strategy that knocks off one of your previous OWI convictions. If it is found that you were not informed of your right to an attorney in the case, or if transcripts proving your right was waived or are unable to be located, then a motion can be filed for that case to not be counted in your number of OWI offenses. This means that a fourth OWI could become a third OWI, a fifth OWI could become a fourth OWI, and so on. Your previous conviction will not be overturned, but you will not face the severity of the level of punishments you currently face. Collateral attack is a complicated legal maneuver, that can only be successful if you retain an attorney who knows which issues are important to discover in your case. A lawyer must also know how to follow through with these discoveries in order to obtain the outcome you desire.
  • A seasoned lawyer can effectively secure your best interests when maneuvering negotiations (plea deal) with a prosecutor. In exchange for a guilty or “no contest” plea, you could very well face lesser penalties. A plea bargain does not have to be accepted, and your attorney can clearly communicate the pros and cons of any decision you make. However, obtaining a lawyer who has the knowledge to effectively negotiate a deal that will be beneficial to you and your case could mean the difference between probation and time in jail. When deciding whether or not to accept a plea deal, an experienced criminal defense attorney is able to provide direction, by drawing from experience of observing countless OWI cases go through the Wisconsin court system.


If you or a loved one are currently facing an OWI charge, do not assume your future is bleak. With more than 30 years of practice, our defense team routinely defends the rights and livelihood of our clients after DUI charges. Our clients consistently inform us that we showed them just why it was wise to hire a lawyer with experience. In order to guard your future, contact us at our Waukesha office at 262-518-9690. You can also contact us online through our contact form.