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.
In the state of Wisconsin it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .08 percent. This standard applies to drivers of cars, trucks, and many other kinds of motor vehicles. However, the .08 percentstandard has not always been in effect. The state's blood alcohol concentration laws have changed along with its drunk driving legislative history.
The human body is a highly complicated system. In fact, that system is so complicated that Wisconsin residents often rely on medical experts to help them understand when problems develop with their health. Because human bodies can react and respond in unexpected ways, many individuals fail to understand how certain substances may affect their physical and cognitive conditions.
Wisconsin drivers who have been stopped for suspected drunk driving may have been subjected to breathalyzer testing by their investigating officers. Others may have been required to give blood to determine their blood alcohol content. Both breathalyzer and blood tests give authorities evidence of a driver's BAC which is used to determine if they were driving above or below the state's legal limit.
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.
In-vehicle breathalyzers and other ignition lock devices mandated by Wisconsin courts are meant to make convicted drunk drivers more responsible on the roads. An out-of-state car accident ironically shows that these paternalistic penalties can backfire and contribute to more harm than good.
The flashing lights of a police car often cause Wisconsin drivers to quickly move out of the way or to pull over as soon as possible. The reason for a traffic stop can vary from an expired license tag to suspicions or evidence of intoxicated driving. Individuals who are suspected of driving while drunk can face serious questions, as well as sobriety testing.
All across the state, Wisconsin drivers are asked by authorities to perform field sobriety tests when police officers believe that the drivers' actions demonstrate evidence of intoxication. While such tests can include walking in a straight line, reciting common lists such as the alphabet and other coordination and memory-based drills, Wisconsin residents may refuse to perform those tests if they so choose.
As fall approaches and the leaves turn from green to red and brown, the air in many college towns will fill with the smells of tailgating and barbeques on football Saturdays. Madison, Wisconsin, is no exception as the hometown Badgers hope to improve on last year's season and work toward Big Ten and national championships. Along with all of the great food served during the games, many people also indulge in beer and other alcoholic beverages.
The discussion on how to manage drinking and driving in Wisconsin will likely never end because people will never stop enjoying alcoholic drinks, nor will they willingly give up their personal vehicles. In light of the fact that drunk driving is a perceived problem that will most likely never disappear, citizens and lawmakers recently met in a public hearing in Madison to continue the dialogue on how to address the situation.