5 Common Mistakes Made After An OWI/DUI Arrest In Wisconsin

Updated by Stangl Law on November 11, 2014


When it comes to OWI arrests here in Wisconsin, many of us think it won’t happen to us, but the reality is much different. In 2012, over 33,000 people were arrested for OWI in Wisconsin alone.

With so many arrests happening each day, you don’t want to be the one wishing you had known you could have done something to defend yourself before your license, your money, your job and more were put in jeopardy.

Just because you’ve been arrested for OWI in Wisconsin, doesn’t mean you don’t have any rights as a citizen. In fact, your rights have never been more important in situations like these.

It’s crucial to make the right choices the moment you realize you’re under arrest.

With that said, I’d like to discuss five of the most common mistakes I see people make during or after a drunk driving arrest so those who find themselves in similar circumstances can be confident they’re making the best decisions moving forward.

1. Admitting to drinking and driving in Wisconsin

This is the easiest and most common mistake people make, and it can happen just seconds after the officer reaches your window during a stop.

Never admit to drinking prior to entering and driving a vehicle in Wisconsin. Many people assume that by not admitting this to an officer, they’ve lied to them. This is not the case. By simply keeping quiet or expressing a request to speak with a Wisconsin OWI Defense Attorney is not regarded as lying or deceiving an officer.

The moment you admit to consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel, you’ll be asked to step out for an OWI investigation––even if you insist you haven’t had a drink for hours beforehand.

2. Refusing a blood or breath test in Wisconsin

If you have a driver’s license issued by the state of Wisconsin, you’ve automatically agreed to participate in the state’s Implied Consent provision.

Implied Consent is permission not expressed or given by an individual, but implied by their actions instead. For drunk driving, this means by simply driving on Wisconsin’s roads, you’ve given implied permission for law enforcement to perform chemical tests if they feel it’s necessary.

If you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, the officer is required to take possession of your license immediately. You’ll be given a Notice of Intent To Revoke Operating Privileges––an offense that has more severe penalties than a first offense OWI in Wisconsin.

What exactly are the penalties?

You’ll have your operating privileges revoked for a minimum of 1 year (longer if you have prior OWI’s or refusal violations), your vehicle will be subject to an Ignition Interlock Device, and the Refusal Violation will count as a prior conviction for purposes of sentence enhancement meaning it will count as a prior offense.

Unless you are affected by a physical disability or disease that is not related to illegal drugs or alcohol, challenging a Refusal Violation is extremely difficult.

3. Not requesting a Wisconsin Administrative Review Hearing

If you do refuse chemical testing, you’ll be given 10 days from the time listed on the notice to request an Administrative Review Hearing. Once you receive the notice, you’ll have 30 days until your driver’s license is suspended automatically.

You can potentially stop this automatic suspension by submitting a request for an Administrative Review Hearing. These hearings give you and your Wisconsin OWI attorney an opportunity to fight for your driving privileges while getting an idea of what issues could affect your defense strategy.

4. Not consulting with a skilled Wisconsin OWI attorney

No matter what situation you find yourself in after an OWI-related arrest, it’s not enough to simply seek the advice of a handful of attorneys and attempt to fight a Wisconsin OWI on your own. Retaining a skilled and experienced OWI attorney ensures that no detail will go overlooked when identifying where opportunities lie to fight your case to the fullest.

If you or someone you know has been charged with drunk driving or OWI in Wisconsin, it’s crucial to secure an experienced OWI lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin to defend your case. Contact Attorney Patrick Stangl today for a free consultation.

Topics: Drunk Driving Charges (OWI)



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