Drunk driving arrests and convictions

During 2015, 28,790 people were arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, including 275 persons who were under 18.

Of the 5,121 drinking drivers involved in crashes in 2015, 363 (7%) were under age 21 and 4,747 (93%) were age 21 or older.

Of 23,931 drivers convicted of OWI in Wisconsin in 2015, 1,713 (7%) were under age 21 at the time of violation and 22,218 (93%) were age 21 or older.

Of the 25,734 OWI citations adjudicated in Wisconsin during 2015, 93% of the drivers were found guilty. This total included 4,475 cases where the driver refused the alcohol test. 94% of the people who refused the alcohol test were found guilty of OWI.

The median alcohol concentration (AC) test result for 2015 OWI citations was 0.16%.

Since 2006, the number of drinking drivers in crashes has declined 39% (from 8,379). In 2006, 1,220 (15%) of the 8,379 drinking drivers in crashes were under age 21. (The minimum drinking age in Wisconsin was raised from 18 to 19 in July, 1984, and from 19 to 21 in September, 1986.)

A snapshot of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles Driver Record File as of December 31, 2015, showed that:

  • 448,624 drivers had one OWI conviction
  • 131,597 drivers had two OWI convictions
  • 52,002 drivers had three OWI convictions
  • 21,516 drivers had four OWI convictions
  • 9,535 drivers had five OWI convictions
  • 4,138 drivers had six OWI convictions
  • 1,665 drivers had seven OWI convictions
  • 643 drivers had eight OWI convictions
  • 270 drivers had nine OWI convictions
  • 120 drivers had 10 OWI convictions
  • 52 drivers had 11 OWI convictions
  • 17 drivers had 12 OWI convictions
  • 11 drivers had 13 OWI convictions
  • 5 drivers had 14 OWI convictions
  • 3 drivers had 15 OWI convictions
  • 2 drivers had 16 OWI convictions