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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Bucher Law Group, LLC - Blog Post

Wisconsin drivers who are pulled over by police officers may not be fully aware of their rights. A driver might be compelled to say "no" to an officer's request, not fully understanding the consequences of such an action. While individuals stopped by law enforcement have rights and the ability to invoke them, when a driver suspected of drunk driving says no to a breath test, he or she could face penalties regardless of whether he or she is charged and convicted of a DUI.

In addition to these potential penalties, motorists should note the ability of a prosecutor to use a driver's refusal to submit to a breath test in court. While it was argued that a driver had a constitutional right to refuse the test, thereby preventing the prosecution from present it to a jury because it constituted an attempt to infer guilt, the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined that there is no constitutional right to refuse a breath test. However, the Court did hold that the current law is too broad and misleading.

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Issues with field sobriety tests

Posted on in DUI/OWI

As a previous post discussed, being suspected of drunk driving can be an overwhelming experience for motorists in Wisconsin and other states across the nation. For some drivers, he or she might be under the impression that the police officer stopping them has enough evidence against them to place them under arrest. However, an officer must have enough evidence collected to have probable cause to place a driver under arrest.

When a driver is requested to submit to a field sobriety test during a traffic stop, this can be challenging and concerning. An individual might want to say no, fearful of what the results might indicate. While a driver does have the right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, it is important to note that consequences could arise if an officer chooses to ask for a breath test and the driver continues to refuse. With a breathalyzer, implied consent to submit to this test is established upon obtaining a driving license. By refusing to comply, a driver faces the risk of a license suspension even if a DUI charge does not result.

While a field sobriety test allows officers to test various factors and variables to establish whether a driver has been drinking and if alcohol has impacted the driver's ability to drive safely, there is one major problem with field sobriety tests. The problem is that most tests included are designed for drivers to fail. Based on scientific studies, it has been proven that these tests have very little reliability when it comes to helping a police officer predict whether or not a driver has a blood alcohol content level that is over the legal limit.

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If a traffic stop in Wisconsin is based on a suspected drunk driving incident, a motorist is likely to face various steps and tests that will determine if they are in fact under the influence of alcohol. If police believe that a driver is over the legal blood alcohol content limit, that driver could face a drunk driving charge.

Being charged with an OWI is a difficult predicament to be in. Such a charge can result in harsh penalties and consequences. Because those facing an OWI in Wisconsin are only allowed 10 days to request a hearing before a driver's license is suspended, our law firm understands the importance of taking immediate action following a drunk driving charge.

At our law firm, we understand drunk driving laws and defense options. We are dedicated to helping residents in the Delafield area successfully navigate the criminal defense process. Whether it is your first offense or not, we do our best to help our clients navigate the process and understand their rights.

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Motorists are expected to follow the rules of the road. If police officers believe they have observed a traffic violation, the officer can pull that motorist over. In some cases, it might not be apparent that the driver has violated a traffic law. However, this doesn't mean that they will not face a citation. In fact, some motorists could face serious penalties for the traffic crimes they are accused of.

According to recent reports, a Milwaukee woman was arrested after police officers apparently observed the 37-year-old woman's 8-year-old son driving her vehicle. Based on preliminary reports, a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy observed the woman's vehicle entering the on-ramp of Highway 145 at West Fond du Lac Avenue while her young child was seated on her lap.

Her young son was allegedly steering the vehicle for her. When a traffic stop was conducted, the driver apparently refused to cooperate. According to reports, the driver showed visible signs of impairment and failed the sobriety test conducted at the scene.

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Being pulled over by the police is often unexpected and, in most cases, motorists become nervous. Regardless of the traffic offense, drivers do not want to face the potential penalties of the citation. However, in some cases, these consequences could be serious, such as in cases of a suspected drunk driving.

What are the drunk driving laws in Wisconsin? In Wisconsin, drivers are considered to be over the legal limit if their blood alcohol concentration, or "BAC," is 0.08 or greater. These measurements are determined by either a breath test during a sobriety test, a breath test subsequent to an arrest or a blood test following an arrest.

However, this BAC reading is only relevant if the motorist is 21-years-old or older. Drivers under the age of 21, are required to maintain absolute sobriety. Operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal and could result in charges and serious penalties. If a motorist has three or more prior OWI convictions, the BAC limit is lower for them. In these cases, the driver cannot operate a motor vehicle if the BAC is greater than 0.02.

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