By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws - Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, the possession and use of alcohol is heavily regulated – and everyone in the state is subject to Wisconsin alcohol laws. Here’s what you need to know.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink in Wisconsin?

Like every other state in the U.S., Wisconsin requires you to be at least 21 years old in order to drink alcohol. You can’t possess alcohol, either, unless you fall into one of a few exceptions (such as an 18-year-old server at a bar, who is permitted to bring alcohol from the bar to customers).

What About Drinking With Your Parents?

In Wisconsin, minors are permitted to drink with their parents’ consent. (Legal guardians count, too.) However, some establishments won’t serve to people under the age of 21 – even if their parents are there and say that it’s okay.

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws on Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a crime in Wisconsin. If you’re charged with operating while intoxicated, or OWI, the state can convict you if you:

  • Drove or operated a motor vehicle on a public highway
  • Were under the influence of an intoxicant (or a controlled substance) at the time that you drove or operated the motor vehicle
  • Had a prohibited alcohol concentration at the time you drove or operated the vehicle

In Wisconsin, you can’t have an alcohol concentration over 0.08 if you have two or fewer prior OWIs. If you have an ignition interlock device – a device that won’t allow your car to start without checking your alcohol concentration first – or if you’ve had three or more prior OWIs, your alcohol concentration must be lower than 0.02 to legally get behind the wheel.

Public Intoxication and Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

Public intoxication isn’t a crime in Wisconsin, but some municipalities have ordinances against it. Additionally, the things you do while you’re intoxicated in public can have legal consequences. For example, if you get into a fight or otherwise engage in disorderly conduct, the state can charge you with that crime. Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor, and if you’re convicted, the judge can send you to jail for up to 90 days and hit you with fines of up to $1,000.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You Violated Wisconsin Alcohol Laws?

If you’ve found yourself in trouble because you’re accused of breaking Wisconsin alcohol laws, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino