Through their prolific use on cop shows on primetime television, Miranda rights are somewhat recognizable to many Wisconsin residents. Individuals may feel comfortable that when faced with arrest they have the rights to remain silent and to hire an attorney of their choosing. However, for some people who are arrested for drunk driving there is an even more significant right they may wonder if they have.
That right is the right to refuse an alcohol breath test. Many law enforcement officials across the state carry issued breathalyzer devices the measure the content of alcohol in a person's system. They are activated when a person blows into them and give officers probable cause to make drunk driving arrests.
A person always has the right to refuse a breathalyzer test when asked by authorities to submit to one. However, exercising the right can come at a very high cost. The state of Wisconsin has adopted an implied consent law that asserts anyone who drives on the state's roads consents to submit to such testing for proof of intoxication. The penalty for violating this implied consent is the issuance of a notice to revoke the person's driving privileges by the involved officer and the suspension of the individual's license for up to one year.
Losing one's license for up to a year can be devastating to a person's wellbeing. Though the state provides ways for a person to appeal the suspension of his license, the appeals process can also drag out due to administrative processing and scheduling. A person forced to choose between taking or refusing a breath test should carefully weigh his options.
Breath tests can be intimidating but drivers in Wisconsin consent to their administration when they drive on the state's roads. A test refusal can bring about serious consequences for those people who rely on the use of their cars. Individuals who are working through license suspensions for refusing to take breath tests may choose to explore their legal options by contacting attorneys who practice in the DUI and drunk driving defense fields.