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Milwaukee County OWI defense attorney

It is generally known that if an individual has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, he or she is legally intoxicated. Throughout the United States, a .08 BAC is designated as the legal threshold for drunk driving, although each state may enforce its own laws to prohibit driving under the influence. In Wisconsin, a motorist may be arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) regardless of his or her BAC. If you or a loved one has been arrested for an OWI charge, it is important to immediately seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney regardless of your circumstances.   

Determining if a Driver Is Impaired 

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Wisconsin for drivers of any age. To be considered “under the influence,” a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle must be impaired. In order to reach this conclusion, a police officer may ask you to participate in field sobriety tests if he or she suspects you are intoxicated. Although these tests may be politely declined, not participating may give an officer probable cause to arrest you. This means that if an officer stops you, and he or she believes that you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, you can be arrested and prosecuted for OWI, even without your BAC even being tested.

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Milwaukee County drunk driving defense lawyer

When you are stopped by a police officer it is because he or she believes that you have been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be a daunting experience. If the officer already suspects that you are intoxicated before you are even pulled over, the entire interaction will be to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to place you under arrest for OWI. Once the officer approaches you, he or she will be using his or her senses to determine whether or not you are impaired. The officer will be looking for bloodshot eyes, unsteady hand movements, slurred speech, unusual statements, and the smell of alcohol or other drugs. He or she will likely ask you to step out of the vehicle to complete field sobriety testing, which will be used to establish probable cause for an arrest. But how accurate are those tests, and can the results be challenged?

What Is a Field Sobriety Test?

Field sobriety tests are conducted during a traffic stop to determine whether or not a person who is driving is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. There are many different types of field sobriety tests, but there are only three different standardized field sobriety tests. These include:

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Milwaukee County criminal defense attorney

Everyone knows that it is against the law to drive while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin not only puts you at risk of being arrested for OWI, but it also puts everyone else on the road in danger. Statistics show that driving while impaired is not only dangerous but deadly. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 11,000 deaths due to drunk driving in 2017, accounting for almost 30 percent of all traffic deaths. If you are ever stopped for the criminal offense of OWI, it is important to know the process in order to make sure your rights are protected.

What Are the Steps in an OWI Stop?

Police officers are trained to spot impaired driving and will usually have a pretty good idea if a person is driving under the influence or not. Being pulled over by the police is nerve-wracking for anyone, but getting stopped by police because they suspect you of drunk driving can be even more anxiety-inducing. Here are a few things to expect if you are pulled over for suspicion of OWI:

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Milwaukee County DWI AttorneyThere are multiple ways you can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, and all of them have serious consequences. You be charged with OWI if your blood-alcohol content is more than .08, if you have a detectable amount of an intoxicant or restricted controlled substance in your blood, or if you are under the influence of any drug or controlled substance.

It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel if you have had too much alcohol, or if you have taken illegal or prescription drugs that can negatively impact your ability to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported about 32 percent of all fatal Wisconsin traffic accidents in 2016 were alcohol-related. 

If you are convicted of an OWI, you may face a lengthy license suspension or revocation. You could offset that inconvenience with an occupational license. Here are the details: 

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Waukesha County DUI Defense Attorneys

Police officers in Wisconsin must have substantial evidence to actually arrest someone for operating while intoxicated (OWI). There are a few things an officer may use to do this, and one common procedure is to request the completion of field sobriety tests, so they can gauge whether a driver is intoxicated while driving. 

The types of field sobriety tests used can differ from state to state, and sometimes between police departments and jurisdictions, but in general, a battery of three standardized tests is used. These tests are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as being accurate a majority of the time:

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