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Implied Consent in Wisconsin | Wisconsin OWI Laws

Have a Wisconsin Driver’s License? You’ve Given Implied Consent to Chemical Testing for OWI

If you are charged with OWI in Wisconsin, you will be required to undergo chemical testing to check your BAC level through a blood test, a breathalyzer breath test, or a urinalysis. When we say required, we mean required. Chemical testing for intoxication is required for an OWI arrest in the state and you must comply with it.

Anyone who holds a Wisconsin driver’s license has provided “implied consent” to chemical testing for intoxication as part of their responsibilities as a driver. Testing can only be done if the driver is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Implied Consent in Wisconsin

Implied consent is governed by Wisconsin State Statute 334.305, which gives law enforcement the right to test all licensed drivers for intoxicants. Under this statute, “Any person who is on duty time with respect to a commercial motor vehicle or drives or operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state, or in those areas enumerated in s.346.61, is deemed to have given consent to one or more tests of his or her breath, blood or urine, for the purpose of determining the presence or quantity in his or her blood or breath, of alcohol, controlled substances, controlled substance analogs or other drugs, or any combination of alcohol, controlled substances, controlled substance analogs and other drugs, when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer”.

Refusing Chemical Testing

We do not recommend refusing to submit to chemical testing. If you do so, you will make the situation harder for yourself because you will also then be charged with “Refusal” along with the original charges. Refusal is a serious complication to your case because:

  • it is more serious than a first offense OWI
  • can be used as proof of guilt
  • is a direct violation of the law, which will reflect poorly on you and comes with additional penalties, including suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year for a first offense

Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Covered by the Law

Unlike chemical testing covered by implied consent laws, drivers do not have to submit to field sobriety tests as they are not chemical tests. You are well within your legal rights to refuse field sobriety tests in the state unless you are a CDL driver on duty. However, refusing will establish probable cause for an arrest.  It is not until you are arrested that you will have to undergo chemical testing as part of the implied consent law.

Contact a Wisconsin OWI Attorney After Your Arrest

It is important to note that you will not be able to contact an attorney before testing. The best choice of action is to submit to the tests, remain cooperative, calm, and polite and request to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Officers must follow certain procedures when making an arrest and when administering chemical tests. If any of these procedures were skipped or violated in any manner, it could help your case.

If you have been charged with an OWI in WI, contact the legal team at Eisenberg Law Offices. We provide defense services throughout the state and offer free consultations to get started. Call 608-256-8356 or email to schedule your free consultation.