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Bucher Law Group, LLC

3 Common Defenses to a Wisconsin OWI Charge

Posted on in Drunk Driving

Milwaukee County OWI defense attorney

Being arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense. Although Wisconsin is known for having relatively lax OWI laws, you can still face significant consequences if you are convicted. Even if you do not face jail time, you can expect to pay a good amount in fines and surcharges, and you also face a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation. In some cases, such as those involving multiple OWIs, penalties may include jail time, which could amount to months or even years behind bars. Hiring a skilled Wisconsin OWI defense attorney is one way you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your OWI case. Your attorney will look at your case as a whole and be able to tell you which defense strategy is the most appropriate for your situation. Below are a few common ways in which you can defend yourself against OWI charges.

You Were Pulled Over Unlawfully

One possible defense to an OWI charge is that you were not pulled over legally in the first place. Before law enforcement can initiate a traffic stop, they must have probable cause to do so. This means they must have reason to believe you were breaking the law before they stopped you. A police officer typically gains probable cause by witnessing a driver swerving or driving erratically, but if you did not do anything out of the ordinary, the officer may not have actually had a legitimate reason to pull you over.

Proper Field Sobriety Test Protocol Was Not Followed

Once you are pulled over because an officer suspects you have been drinking, he or she may ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests. There are three standardized field sobriety tests that have been proven to be efficient for detecting whether a driver is impaired. These tests are the one-leg stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the walk and turn test. If the officer does not use these standardized tests and instead uses tests such as reciting the alphabet backward, you may be able to prove that your arrest was unreasonable.

Your Chemical Test Was Invalid

Once you have been arrested, you will be asked to submit to a more official chemical test, typically a breath test. This can be problematic because of the way your body absorbs alcohol. After you have had your last drink, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for your body to fully absorb the alcohol, meaning your BAC is rising during that time. Just because your BAC was over the legal limit after you were arrested does not mean it was over the legal limit when you were behind the wheel.

Contact an Ozaukee County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Milwaukee County OWI defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Bucher Law Group, LLC, we understand how much of your daily life relies on your ability to drive. Our dedicated team of attorneys is here to help you fight to preserve your driving privileges and avoid incarceration. If you or someone you know is facing Wisconsin OWI charges, contact our office today to learn how we can assist you. Call us today at 262-303-4916 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.alcohol.org/dui/how-to-fight-it/

 

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