Although you can refuse to take a breathalyzer in Wisconsin, a driver will face penalties under the Implied Consent Law that specifies that any person who operates a vehicle in the state has consented to testing in exchange for the privilege of driving.
The consequences of refusal will include license suspension of one year for the first refusal, two for the second and three for the third over a ten year look back period. A 1st offense driver may be eligible to apply for a restricted license, aka occupational license, to get back and forth to work or school while revoked, but this requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID) at the drivers expense and a 30 day waiting period to apply.
If, on the other hand, a driver consents to a preliminary breath test (PBT), an OWI 1st offense without refusal may only result in a 6-9 month revocation, no waiting periods to apply for a restricted license, and an IID only if the BAC exceeds 0.15. The willingness to take a preliminary breath test (PBT) will also be seen more favorably in court, whereas a refusal may be seen as an attempt to hide something.
If you have been charged with Wisconsin OWI 1st offense or subsequent offenses, it is critical to seek legal representation to seek a reduction in charges, which may include a plea deal of wet reckless – pleading guilty to reckless driving rather than risking guilty verdict on an OWI charge.
Although wet reckless plea deals are more common where there are no prior convictions and the BAC level barely exceeds the limit, even drivers with second or third OWI may be able to negotiate a deal with the help of an experienced Wisconsin OWI DUI attorney.
Experienced Wisconsin Field Breathalyzer Test Refusal Attorneys
Whether you refuse to take a Wisconsin field breathalyzer test or not, contact the Waukesha drunk driving defense lawyers at Andrew C. Ladd for help today if you or a family member is facing a Wisconsin OWI drunk driving charge at 262-542-3900.