OWI Illinois Driver

Illinois Drivers

If you have an Illinois driver’s license and you get an OWI in Wisconsin it is important to speak to an attorney. In Wisconsin, the first OWI offense is not a criminal case, however, in Illinois it is. If you refuse to take the chemical test the penalties can be different for a refusal than an DUI in Illinois. 

  • Illinois treats the first OWI conviction must harsher than Wisconsin in terms of revocation length, getting an occupational driver’s license, and applying to reinstate your license with the Secretary of State.
  • If you get an OWI in Wisconsin it will be reported to Illinois, your driver’s license will be revoked and you have to follow Illinois penalties.
  • In Illinois it is much easier to avoid a conviction for a first offense OWI then it is in Wisconsin. Many times in Illinois you are able to enter a plea-bargain to reduce the DUI charge to “court supervision.” This will entail taking some classes and having a suspension in exchange for the case getting dismissed.
  • If you get an OWI in Wisconsin, the state will likely not offer a plea deal.
  • While the penalties for a first offense OWI in Wisconsin is less than Illinois, if you are an Illinois driver convicted in Wisconsin you will face harsher penalties of being convicted for a first offense DUI in IL.
  • A first offense DUI conviction in Illinois results in a revocation of your driver’s license for 1 year. You will have to apply to reinstate your license through the Illinois Secretary of State. In many instances, this process can take 2-3 years.
  • Getting an occupational driver’s license or an RDP (Restricted Driving Permit) in Illinois can be tricky. You may have to consult with an attorney and it can take months before getting this permit.

Refusals For Illinois Drivers

If you have a refusal in Wisconsin and you are an Illinois driver there are some options for making a plea deal that can lower the penalties. A refusal will result in a 1 year suspension of your driver’s license in which you can pay a fee to reinstate after the period is over.

In some instances the Wisconsin court will make a plea deal. One of the primary plea bargains in Wisconsin are guilty pleas. The DUI will be dropped if the defendant pleads guilty to the refusal. This refusal will show up on your Illinois driver’s record as “Out of State Refusal Suspension”.

OWI Defense For Illinois Drivers

An Illinois driver may choose to fight the case since the penalties are much greater for an OWI in the state of Wisconsin. When fighting a DUI it is crucial to have a lawyer look over your case to make sure you get the best defense and outcome. A lawyer can build a strong defense for you by:

  • Collecting all the records and evidence in the case that will be used against you.
  • Reviewing all the evidence to build a defense in your case.
  • Looking into the probable cause for the sop if you got pulled over by the PD.
  • Looking into the probable cause of the arrest to make sure your rights weren’t violated.
  • Investigating the chemical test.
  • Looking into the evidence and making sure it was handled correctly.
  • Watching all videos that correspond for your case.
  • Making sure you were given due process in the whole OWI arrest process.
  • Going to court with you on all court dates.
    Appearing for motions or trials in your case.


In the state of Wisconsin, being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI) can include jail time, significant fines, losing your license and additional penalties depending on any previous offenses. Based on your specific case, you may have only ten days to object to the suspension of your driver’s license from the time you were arrested. Because OWI and DUI charges carry severe penalties, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Lee Law Firm, LLC is committed to helping you build your OWI defense and positioning you for the best possible outcome for your case.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


  • The following constitutes OWI or DUI:

    • Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. If you are stopped for an OWI with a blood or breath test that registers at .08 percent or higher, you are considered intoxicated and unable to operate a vehicle safely.

    • Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and/or chemical substances.

    • Driving with any detectable amount of intoxicant in your system.

    • Driving under the influence of any drug.

  • You do not have to consent to a test. If you refuse, you will be given a Notice of Intent to Revoke Operating Privilege. You will have ten days to request a court hearing. If you do not request a hearing or lose the hearing, your license will be suspended for at least one year.

  • If you consent to a test and the result of the test is above the legal limit, you will be given a Notice of Intent to Revoke Operating Privilege. You have ten days to request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension of your license. Failure to request a hearing or losing the hearing will cause your license to be suspended for six months. You may also receive additional penalties, if you are convicted.

  • A first offense OWI or DUI is considered a civil offense — not a criminal offense. Penalties for a first offense OWI or DUI can include fines up to $800 and having your license suspended for at least six months.
    Second and third offenses of OWIs and DUIs are misdemeanors. Penalties include significantly larger fines, longer driver’s license suspensions, and time in jail. A fourth conviction and consecutive convictions are felony charges.