Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer? Will I Face Punishment If I Do?

Like many other jurisdictions, Wisconsin has a law that expressly states that anyone arrested on suspicion of drunk driving while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway - otherwise known as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) - is already "deemed to have given consent" to breath, urine or blood tests. Obviously, the purpose of these tests is to determine whether alcohol is present in the driver's system or not.

While this implied consent law doesn't require you to take these tests, you will likely face significant penalties under the law if you refuse a Breathalyzer or other tests following an OWI arrest. These penalties may include:

  • Revocation of your driver's license, which will vary in length depending on whether you have prior refusals or OWI-related offenses
  • Installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on all of your vehicles

However, it is important to remember that you do have an opportunity to request a hearing at which you can challenge an alleged wrongful refusal, but you have a limited time to do so. This is why you need to contact an attorney who has experience with criminal defense law as soon as possible - you need to contact attorney Tom Marola. With more than 40 years of legal experience, he can answer any question you may have about OWI charges in Wisconsin.

You Need To Weigh Your Options

Deciding whether to refuse a breath test is definitely a tough choice. On one hand, you may think that a refusal is a good idea since it will probably limit the evidence police can use against you. But on the other hand, a refusal can result in harsh penalties all by itself - not to mention police may still choose to seek OWI charges even if you refuse.

The fact of the matter is that every situation is different, which is why you always need a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer by your side if you are facing refusal allegations or OWI charges in Wisconsin. For a FREE consultation with such a lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Thomas Marola at 414-395-5654. You can also reach us online. From our West Allis office, we serve clients throughout the Milwaukee area.