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What is Implied Consent in Wisconsin?

Understanding Implied Consent for Wisconsin Drivers

Police officers in Wisconsin who suspect someone of operating while intoxicated (OWI) will pull that driver over to confirm their suspicions. This may involve a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. You may have heard that you should refuse the test. Unfortunately, that is not true. Thanks to Wisconsin’s Implied Consent law, your choices are extremely limited once you’ve gotten behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.

What Is Implied Consent?

In most cases, “consent” means you agree to do something. Implied consent is different. Anyone driving in Wisconsin is deemed by law to have given consent to a breath, blood, or urine test for blood alcohol content if the officer has probable cause to believe that you are under the influence. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to take the test; you consented by law as soon as you started to drive. You don’t get to contact an attorney before the test, and you don’t have a right to say no.

But What if You Refuse?

Refusing to take a breathalyzer or other blood alcohol test carries serious consequences. Testing above the legal limit can lead to penalties including a fine, jail time, and a license suspension of six to nine months for your first offense. But refusing to take a test carries a full year license suspension for your first offense, and gets treated as admission of guilt. You gain no benefit, and stand to lose a great deal from refusing a breathalyzer when a police officer requests it.

Getting Legal Help

While no good comes from refusing to be tested, you can get legal help after an OWI arrest. You may be able to contest whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you or whether the test was properly calibrated. You may alternately be able to negotiate a lesser penalty or plead to a lesser charge.

If you are pulled over under suspicion of OWI in Madison, Wisconsin, cooperate, take any test requested, and then call Eisenberg Law Offices. Our experienced attorneys will give you the best defense available for your OWI charges.