How can Wisconsin police check for drunk drivers?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2019 | Dui/owi

Drinking and driving should never mix, but that does not stop some people from thinking they are not too drunk to drive. The lack of good judgment that comes with alcohol consumption or drug use makes it dangerous for all other Wisconsinites on the roads. But even if a driver is suspected of drunk driving, they have rights that should be understood.

How do law enforcement officers verify if a driver is drunk?

After a traffic stop involving suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), the main route to evidence is a breath test, or Breathalyzer, which measures the alcohol on a person’s exhalation. If that is impossible or refused, a blood test may conclusively show a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

How are law enforcement officers allowed to administer these tests?

In general, officers need a person’s consent or a court order to administer the test. But Wisconsin law allows officers to draw blood for a test if a driver is unconscious and suspected of drunk driving. The Supreme Court in Madison has said drivers in the Badger State automatically consent to this test and unconsciousness due to drinking does not allow people to withdraw it.

What else should drivers know about Wisconsin law regarding DUI?

A proposed law may allow prosecutors to seek jail time for convicted first-time DUI offenders. If this passes, it would become even more important for suspected drunk drivers to defend themselves against criminal charges. It is always advisable to seek a lawyer’s advice after a drunk driving arrest in Wisconsin.