As discussed in last week's entry on this Wisconsin drunk driving defense blog, the legal limit of a person's blood alcohol content has changed over time. The serious consequences that can attach when a person is found to have a BAC above that legal limit can reduce his rights and challenge his ability to work and move forward with his life. Serious consequences can also, however, attach when a person chooses not to submit to BAC testing after an alleged drunk driving stop.
Last week's post on this Sheboygan DUI defense blog discussed how the state of Wisconsin can compel an individual to submit to testing to determine his blood alcohol concentration when that individual is suspected of drunk driving. Prior posts on this blog have also discussed the fact that Wisconsin has on its books an implied consent law. That law generally means that when a person chooses to drive on Wisconsin roads, he also consents to testing when authorities believe he is driving under the influence.
Wisconsin currently has on its books an implied consent law. Generally speaking, the implied consent law provides that all drivers on Wisconsin roads have already given their consent to submitting to a blood alcohol content test if they are suspected of driving while intoxicated. This could be a breath, urine or blood test and it can be used to test for alcohol and other controlled substances.
Many Wisconsin drivers may be under the assumption that their blood alcohol concentrations goes up and down exclusively based on how much they have had to drink. While alcohol intake does directly affect BAC, other factors can play into how a breath test will read a person's level of intoxication. Knowing these factors can help a person decide if he should refuse to take a breath or chemical test.
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.
Drivers in Sheboygan who are stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of DWI might not be aware of the law of implied consent, which says they are required to submit to a breath test if asked to do so. Even if no alcohol has been consumed or the driver has not surpassed the legal amount, there can still be charges filed for breath test refusal. Committing test refusal carries with it penalties and the law applies to everyone including public officials and members of law enforcement.