When it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol, there is some level of debate as to how much is too much to safely operate a motor vehicle. A science panel recently convened at the nation's capital to discuss current laws, and made recommendations that the blood alcohol concentration threshold be lowered significantly. However, certain representatives within Wisconsin claim this would do little to solve the issues at hand.
The consequences for a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe, perhaps especially if additional charges are included. When an accident occurs, or if a minor is present at the time, those accused of drunk driving often face stiffer penalties. A woman was arrested and is facing similar charges after she allegedly hit a police cruiser in Wisconsin recently.
Wisconsin residents who are accused of drunk driving may be subjected to blood alcohol tests. These tests, often involving the taking of a blood sample, are a way for law enforcement to gather evidence against a driver who has been alleged to be driving while drunk. Oftentimes, the results of these tests are entered into evidence during criminal trials, thereby putting an individual at risk of being convicted and being subjected to serious penalties.
As this blog has discussed in previous posts, by driving in the state of Wisconsin you have given implied consent for your blood, breath or urine to be collected for purposes of alcohol and drug testing in the event that you are accused of driving under the influence. Refusing to give a sample can result in revocation of your driver's license and other penalties, which may cause you significant hardship. However, submitting to the test may also result in serious penalties. But if you submit to a test that shows that your blood-alcohol content is above the legal limit, are you hopeless in defending yourself?
Prosecutors in Wisconsin often rely on breath test results in order to obtain DUI convictions. However, as we discussed last week in this blog, these tests are not always accurate. In fact, an improperly maintained or calibrated breath test machine can leave you facing unwarranted criminal charges based on bogus test results. If this happens and you don't present a strong criminal defense, then you could be in for severe penalties, including jail, fines, license suspension, and license revocation.
Wisconsin residents who are faced with DUI charges may feel like they have an uphill battle. This may be the case, but the fact that the state has evidence against an individual should not paralyze them into inaction. In fact, there may be instances where the state's evidence is so flawed that, if properly objected to, it should be inadmissible in court.
If a machine is not properly calibrated then it may not provide accurate readings of the units it is intended to measure. For example, if a Chicago driver's speedometer is not properly calibrated, then he may actually be driving faster or slower than the readout states. Thus, many machines require regular calibration to ensure that they are operating properly, including those machines that police departments use to measure the content of alcohol in people's systems.
When a Wisconsin resident blows into a breathalyzer device for the purposes of establishing the level of alcohol in the person's blood, the person is trusting that the machine's reading will be fair and accurate. This can be misplaced trust when breathalyzers fail or are improperly maintained. As a result of an inaccurate breathalyzer reading, people may find themselves facing drunk driving charges even if they was sober at the time of their breathalyzer testing.
When a Sheboygan resident consumes an alcoholic beverage the alcohol in it gets into the person's bloodstream very quickly. Unlike food which must pass through various organ systems before it is filtered throughout a person's body, alcohol can pass into a person's bloodstream through the stomach. Due to the rapid intake of alcohol into a person's blood, the impact of alcohol can affect a person soon after the individual has finished consuming a drink.
Is an involuntary blood draw for the purposes of performing blood alcohol tests a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment right to avoid unreasonable searches and seizures? American citizens, including those who reside in Wisconsin, are guaranteed this protection by the mentioned amendment to the United States Constitution. However, law enforcement offices all across the country often test individuals against their wills for alcohol and other substances when those individuals are suspected of drunk or drugged driving. This post will look at some of the issues behind this debate.