Do I have any defenses to an OWI in Wisconsin?
Answer: A wisconsin OWI is similar to a DWI or DUI in other states. An OWI refers to operating while intoxicated and it is a charge appropriate for anyone who is above the legal limit (.08% blood alcohol content) while driving a vehicle or who is otherwise impaired while driving. If you are charged with a Wisconsin OWI, you may face penalties including jail time and the loss of your drivers license. Often it is best to reach a plea deal with the prosecutor. In some cases, it may be possible to successfully defend against the charges (usually with the aid of an attorney) Some examples of potential defenses (depending on the situation), include:
- The Rising BAC Defense. Since your BAC keeps rising for a while after drinking, it is possible that in certain instances you may be above the legal limit at the time when you are given a BAC test, but not above the legal limit at the time when you are actually behind the wheel. As a general matter, this test is most likely to work if there was a time gap in between the time you were driving and the time you were tested and/or if you were very close to the legal limit
- Lack of Probable Cause. If the police took a breathalyzer or administered another sobriety test when they had no reason to do so (i.e. you didn't give them any reason to suspect you were drunk) then you may be able to get the illegally obtained evidence excluded
- Problem with the Evidence. If the police officer was not properly certified or did not maintain his certification for using the breathalyzer, or if the breathalyzer machine wasn't maintained properly, then you can argue that there is something wrong with the actual evidence against you.
If you are trying to defend yourself against a Wisconsin OWI, consider consulting with a lawyer for guidance and advice.
For additional information surrounding OWI laws in Wisconsin, follow the links below.