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Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test During a Wisconsin OWI Stop?

Posted on in OWI

Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorney

Since the 1980s, both state and federal agencies have attempted to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents that occur. For the most part, this has succeeded. In Wisconsin, there were nearly 30,000 alcohol-related traffic crashes in 1980. By the time 2015 rolled around, there were only 5,174 alcohol-related traffic crashes recorded in Wisconsin. Even though the number of drunk driving accidents decreased immensely, they still remain a significant safety issue. Wisconsin OWI laws are taken seriously and are often enacted to their full extent. That is why if you or someone you know is charged with OWI, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected. 

Implied Consent Laws in Wisconsin

Nearly every state in the United States has an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to chemical testing if they are suspected to be driving while intoxicated. Wisconsin is no exception. If you are driving a vehicle in Wisconsin, you are deemed to have given your consent to submit to “one or more tests of blood, breath, or urine.” These tests are used to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, and they are typically performed after a person has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

Consequences For Refusing a Chemical Test

Because of the implied consent law, you can get into trouble if you refuse to submit to a chemical test. A first offense of refusing a chemical test and no prior record of OWI can result in a one-year driver’s license revocation, with the option to apply for an occupational license after 30 days. If you refuse a chemical test a second time and you have no prior record of OWI, you also face a one-year license revocation. However, if you do have a prior OWI record during your second chemical test refusal, you face a two-year revocation and cannot receive an occupational license for 90 days. Third or subsequent refusals can result in a three-year driver’s license revocation.

Contact a Brookfield Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are pulled over because a police officer suspected you of driving while under the influence, you are allowed to refuse a roadside breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests, although doing so may give an officer probable cause to arrest you. Following your arrest, you do technically have the right to refuse to take a chemical test, but you will face consequences for doing so. Refusal can make your life much more difficult than it has to be. If you have been arrested or charged with OWI, call our skilled Waukesha County OWI defense lawyers right away. At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we have the knowledge needed to help fight for the best results possible, and we will work to keep your driving privileges intact. Call our office today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a free consultation. We answer our phones 24/7.

 

Sources:

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/drunk-drv/ddcrash.aspx

https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/safety/education/drunk-drv/owi-penchrt.pdf

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/343/III/305

 

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