Auto insurance rates may double or triple for 3 to 5 years after loss of license for an underage drinking law violation, even if you were not driving at the time of citation according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT).
The WI Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) notes that auto insurance premiums may be tripled or your policy may even be non-renewed if your child receives an operating while intoxicated (OWI) citation. If your child is cited for underage drinking where the violation involved the operation or use of a motor vehicle, your insurance company might non-renew your insurance policy or increase the premium which would remain at the higher level for a number of years or until your child leaves your household.
The OCI also states that if your child receives a citation for driving related violations, including an OWI, those violations can also affect other policies you have. For instance, it could affect your umbrella policy, and the rates for other non-auto motor vehicles, such as boats, or snowmobiles.
In WI everyone under the age of 21 should be aware that they are required by Wisconsin law to maintain absolute sobriety when driving. This means that their blood or breath alcohol concentration must be 0.0 while operating a motor vehicle, including motorcycles.
Wisconsin Statute 346.63 (2M) states that if a person has not attained the legal drinking age, the person may not drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.0% BAC. This provision in the "Not a Drop" Law carries a mandatory three-month suspension of driving privileges in addition to other possible charges that may be brought under the "Drinking Age Laws."
A refusal to take a breath test, for blood alcohol concentration, by any motor vehicle operator, results in a one year revocation of license.
A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% BAC or higher subjects an underage driver to penalties under Wisconsin's Drunk Driving Law.
In Wisconsin if an underage person is arrested for a non-driving alcohol violation, there are certain penalties that apply. Most convictions will result in monetary fines along with a suspension of driving privileges.
Drivers under age 21 who violate the Absolute Sobriety Law (Wisconsin's Not A Drop Law) will have their license suspended for 90 days and will receive a citation costing $375 with four demerit points assessed on their driver's license. If a passenger under the age of 16 is in the vehicle, violators will have their license suspended for six months, and they must pay $627 with four demerit points assessed on their license.
Wisconsin Statue section 125.07 also prohibits alcohol possession or consumption by people under age 21. Depending upon your son's age and under what exact subsection of 125.07 he was cited for he could receive a fine of between $50 to $500 and a 30 to 90 driver's license suspension.
We have read that underage drinking convictions stay on a state court record for 5 years. However the Wisconsin DOT states while most convictions on a driving record are eligible to be removed five years after the conviction date many alcohol related convictions such as operating while under the influence of intoxicants remain on a driving record for 55 years. So you or your son should check with the WI DOT to find out how long the underage drinking violation will stay on his driving record and the court to see how long it will stay on his court record.
As the Wisconsin OCI notes, if your child is cited for underage drinking involving a motor vehicle, your insurance rate may be affected for a minimum of three years or until they are no longer a member of the household or no longer on the policy. Speak to your agent with American Family about their specific rating system and how it deals with underage drinking.
For more information on the penalties your son is facing check with the court listed on his citation and the WI DOT which should be able to tell you how his license will be affected now and in the future by this "Not a Drop Law" underage drinking violation.