No, Wisconsin is not considered a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. Wisconsin operates under a tort-based system in which the at-fault party is legally responsible for the damages that he or she causes due to his or her negligent actions. The at-fault party can be required to compensate the victim for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. The negligent party's insurance carrier pays the victim damages, up to the policy limits. Because accidents often involve large expenses, many people carry more than the state's minimum liability coverage. Additionally, motorists can opt for Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers their medical expenses and the medical expenses of their passengers, regardless of who was at fault.
Wisconsin law requires you to file an accident report immediately after a car accident in certain situations, such as if the accident involves:
Yes. For accidents that occurred after January 1, 2017, you can request an accident report online here. You can look up the report based on one of the following options:
You can request a copy of your accident report in Wisconsin online here. You will need one of the following to look up your accident report:
A first-time DUI offense is typically treated as a civil forfeiture matter and is not considered a criminal offense. The process for this type of case is quick and does not result in possible jail time, although there are other serious consequences, including a driver's license revocation of at least six months, fines and an alcohol assessment. However, if there is a child in the vehicle or someone is injured, even a first-time offense can be charged as a criminal offense. Subsequent offenses are considered criminal offenses as misdemeanors, which can result in up to one year in jail. A fourth DUI within five years of a previous DUI is charged as a felony as is a fifth DUI over your lifetime. These convictions can result in up to five years in prison.
Most DUIs are considered a criminal offense and will stay on your record forever. However, when counting how many prior offenses you have had, only those offenses that have occurred within the last 10 years are counted. The applicable date is the date of the offense to the date of the other offense. Additionally, those offenses that occurred before 1989 are not counted.
If you are convicted of a first-time DUI (OUI) in Wisconsin, you will be subject to the following punishments:
Wisconsin uses the acronyms OWI and DUI. OWI stands for "operating while intoxicated." A person is charged with this offense if he or she is suspected of being intoxicated while operating a vehicle or capable of operating the vehicle. The vehicle does not actually have to be in motion for this charge to arise. DUI stands for "driving under the influence," which can be charged when the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, a person can be charged with DUI while under the influence of other substances, such as drugs. OWI can be charged if a person is operating a boat, snowmobile or other motorized vehicles.