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Refusing a breath test

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

When stopped for suspected drunk driving, many people get asked by law enforcement to submit to blood alcohol content level testing. To avoid giving the authorities evidence to possibly use against them, some drivers consider refusing or refuse to submit to testing.

Understanding their rights and responsibilities for giving BAC samples may help drivers protect themselves and avoid unnecessary penalties.

The implied consent law

According to state law, by driving an auto in Wisconsin, motorists give their consent to chemical testing for BAC levels. Law enforcement may ask them to provide breath, blood or urine samples, or a combination of these. Once arrested, people must submit to such testing or risk additional penalties.

To establish probable cause before an arrest, the authorities may ask motorists for a breath test. At this point, drivers still have a choice, and they may not face consequences for refusing such preliminary requests.

The consequences of refusing a breath test

Drivers who refuse breath tests after law enforcement has arrested them for alleged driving under the influence may receive consequences on top of those the court may levy against them for convictions or guilty pleas to such charges. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, a first-time chemical test refusal will result in a one-year driver’s license revocation. Additionally, the court may also require motorists who refuse chemical testing to participate in round-the-clock sobriety programs or to have ignition interlock devices installed in any vehicles they drive.

Getting stopped for suspected drunk driving may have a significant impact on people’s lives, personally and professionally. Knowing their rights and how to respond during such stops, however, may help drivers protect their interests and their futures.