Wisconsin Drinking Laws

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Society has a number of laws and ordinances designed to reduce the illegal use and/or abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Ordinances are promulgated by various governmental entities to cover AOD abuse in different locations and under a variety of circumstances. Below are laws and ordinances from the: City of Menomonie, University of Wisconsin-Stout, State of Wisconsin and Federal Government.

City of Menomonie

City ordinances help to maintain a safe and orderly community. The Menomonie Ordinance link takes you to a brief list of pertinent ordinances. Full copies can be obtained from City Hall or the Menomonie Police Department.

University of Wisconsin-Stout

The State Legislature has developed comprehensive rules for alcohol and other drug use on university (state) property. Under State code s. UWS 18.06 (13)(a), The “unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, employees or organizations is prohibited on university property or as part of university activities.”

An illicit drug is defined as “a drug, substance or precursor, including but not limited to opiates, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants.” Also, “the use or possession of intoxicating liquors or fermented malt beverages with an alcoholic content of more than 0.5 % is prohibited on university lands, except in faculty and staff housing, in specifically designated student housing units, and at suitable times under decorous conditions in conference meetings or dining facilities, subject to statutory age regulations.”

Any person who violates state or federal laws on university property may face prosecution in the appropriate courts. In addition, students, faculty or staff violating university standards are subject to university disciplinary action. State code UWS Chapter 17 describes standards and disciplinary procedures for addressing nonacademic misconduct. 

State of Wisconsin

Uniform Controlled Substance Act, Chapter 961 regulates substances and outlines specific penalties for violations. Penalties vary according to type of drug, amount of drug confiscated, the number of previous convictions, and the presence of any aggravating factors. For additional details enter statute number "961.41" at the State web site.

Section 961.41(3g), Stats

A first-time conviction for possession of a controlled substance can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

A person convicted of manufacturing a controlled substance, delivering a controlled substance, or possessing a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver, can be imprisoned for up to 30 years and be fined up to $1,000,000.

Section 961.46, Stats

The distribution of a controlled substance to a minor can lead to the doubling of an authorized sentence term.

Wisconsin Drinking Age Law

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess or consume alcohol as well as enter an establishment that sells alcohol. They also can't obtain, carry or provide an inaccurate ID card or misrepresent their age for purposes of obtaining alcohol. First offense penalties in Dunn County include a hefty fine plus possible loss of drivers license for 90 days. See full details at Wisconsin Drinking Age Law.

Drinking age convictions stay on your state record for five years and can impact future job opportunities or obtaining licensure in a chosen profession! To view your state record, go to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Web site.

Wisconsin Not a Drop Law

A person under the age of 21 may not drive with any BAC (blood alcohol concentration). Penalties include a three-month suspension of driving privileges plus any other charges brought under Wisconsin's Drinking Age or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Laws.

Wisconsin Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Law

While it's risky to operate a motor vehicle after consuming any alcohol, an OWI generally involves a BAC of .08% or higher. An OWI arrest may also result from a BAC below .08% if there is evidence of significant impairment.

For additional details about Wisconsin’s operating while intoxicated law, go to: Operating While Intoxicated Laws.

Federal Laws

Federal Illicit Drug Laws prohibit the use, possession, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of controlled substances. Distribution of even a small amount of marijuana can mean up to 6 years in prison (up to life where the substance results in death or bodily injury). Possession convictions can mean up to 2 years in prison on first offense and up to $100,000.00 in fines. Other penalties under federal law include forfeiture of property, denial of federal benefits (student loans, grants and public housing) and revocation of certain federal licenses. For additional details about Federal illicit drug laws:

Federal Financial Aid Laws establish penalties for illicit drug law violations. Students can lose the ability to receive educational financial aid as a result of one or more drug-related convictions. Convictions can also make people ineligible for future governmental aid, including Federally subsidized home loans. For additional details about Federal Financial Aid Laws:

Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act

Employees working in certain jobs at the university are covered by a separate set of Federal AOD use guidelines. The Drug-Free Workplace Act specifies that:

  • All individuals engaged in activities funded by federal grants, contracts or cooperative agreements are required, as a condition of continued involvement, to comply with the university's policy on illicit drugs. Individuals employed with federal funds must notify, within five days of a conviction, their dean, director, department chair, or the Associate Dean of Research of any federal or state criminal drug-statue conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace. Failure to notify the appropriate supervisor of such a drug-statute conviction may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • For the purposes of this action, "workplace" is defined as any place, on or off campus, that an individual is performing duties within the scope of employment and/or within the scope of activities performed under federally funded projects even if the individual performing the research is a student and not an employee of the university.
  • Any employee who engages in any of the above prohibited behavior may be referred to counseling or treatment, may be required to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, may have current and future grant funding rescinded or denied, and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

More details here >>