The Three Types of Sobriety Tests You May Encounter in Wisconsin

The Three Types of Sobriety Tests You May Encounter in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, there are three types of sobriety tests that law enforcement may employ to determine your BAC. It is important to educate yourself about the implications of each of these tests when mounting a defense against an OWI/DUI conviction.

No Sobriety Test is Foolproof

The most well-known of these tests is the breath test, often referred to as a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer test is often given at the scene of the arrest, as the results of the test diminish in accuracy the longer law enforcement waits to administer it. This means that if you are on the edge of the legal limit when the test is given, this does not necessarily indicate that your BAC was .08 or higher while you were driving. If you were given a breathalyzer test, a skilled OWI lawyer can help you demonstrate the inaccuracy of the test in court.

The use of blood tests instead of a traditional breathalyzer test is on the rise in police departments. Blood tests are particularly risky because they can reveal more than just your BAC. Blood test results may also indicate illegal drug usage, exposing you to additional criminal charges. These tests are not 100% accurate, however. Blood tests can only be given by certified individuals and can be thrown out as evidence if your attorney can demonstrate that the kit was expired or that the blood sample was not mixed with the correct proportions of preservative, tainting the sample.

The least common sobriety test that may be administered in the event of an OWI arrest is a urine test. While blood tests are more accurate indicators of sobriety, urine tests can also reveal illegal drug usage along with BAC. In some cases, over-the-counter medications have been shown to trigger a false positive for these drugs, calling the validity of positive results into question.

What if You Refuse Sobriety Testing?

While it is within your right to refuse field sobriety tests, law enforcement is likely to mandate chemical testing if you do. You may be given any of the tests described above at the discretion of the officer. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your license can be automatically revoked for a minimum of one year due to Wisconsin’s implied consent law.

Contact an Experienced Wisconsin OWI Attorney

If you have been accused of intoxicated driving, contact the OWI attorneys at Waukesha Criminal Defense today. Our passion for protecting your rights in the face of OWI charges could be the difference between harsh penalties and reduced or dismissed charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.