September 23, 2019

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Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

The laws regarding the sale and purchase of beer, wine and liquor in Wisconsin are pretty straightforward and easy to remember. You can buy and sell beer in Wisconsin seven days a week from 6:00 until midnight, and you can buy and sell wine and liquor seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Liquor is mainly sold in state-run liquor stores and some chain grocery stores).  Sunday through Thursday, Wisconsin bars close at 2:00 a.m., but they close at 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There is one dry town in Wisconsin that does not allow any sale of alcohol at any time and that is Ephraim, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Dram Shop Law

Dram shop law in Wisconsin states that “a person who is immune from civil liability arising out of the act of procuring alcohol beverages for or selling, dispensing or giving away alcohol beverages to another person.” However, Wisconsin does recognize some exceptions to this law, and there are instances in which a vendor or host may be held liable for giving or selling alcohol to someone who ends up hurting or killing someone due to their alcohol intake and intoxicated state.

Those exceptions include:

  • When alcohol is served by force or by deception (such as by claiming the beverage is alcohol-free)
  • When alcohol is provided to a minor and is determined to be a “substantial factor” in the resulting injury

DUI Law in Wisconsin

If you get convicted of a first offense DUI in Wisconsin, you can expect some or all of the following penalties:

  • Six- or nine-month license revocation
  • If your blood alcohol level tested above .15, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.
  • Alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation
  • Fines

If you refuse a blood or breath alcohol test, you can face even steeper penalties than those listed above. If you choose to refuse a test, you will receive a Notice of Intent to Revoke, and you will have 10 days from the receipt of that notice to schedule a hearing with the court.  Should you fail to schedule your hearing within the time limit, you will be automatically found guilty of OWI. If, during your hearing, the court determines your refusal was not justified or unreasonable for any reason, your license can be revoked for an entire year.

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI or any other offense in Wisconsin, please contact a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney today. The longer you wait to get legal representation, the more difficult it will be to prepare your defense. If you do not live in Wisconsin, but got a DUI there, you cannot just go back home and forget about the arrest and hope it goes away. It will not go away, and a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued in your home state.

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