Wisconsin has two separate charges for drunk driving – operating while intoxicated (OWI) and prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC). With an OWI charge, the officer need only show that consuming alcohol and/or drugs affected your ability to competently operate a motor vehicle. With a PAC charge, however, the officer must have evidence that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the state’s legal limit.
In the case of prohibited alcohol concentration, the prosecution must establish that your BAC was over the legal allowable limit—not that your ability to drive was compromised in any way. This can be done by introducing breathalyzer or blood test results that show your BAC was .08% or higher. Please note that you could also be charged with OWI as well as PAC in certain Wisconsin counties.
The penalties for PAC are the same as for OWI, which means you could face a revoked driver’s license, expensive fines, and an alcohol assessment. The sentence increases for each subsequent conviction on your record, resulting in jail time and even more fines. You may also be required to mount an ignition interlock device in their vehicle as a condition of their license reinstatement.
Many people who are charged with PAC mistakenly believe that the evidence against them is airtight; however, this is certainly not the case. Breathalyzer machines, such as the Intoximeter EC/IR II in Wisconsin, are known to have a number of problems, and could be affected by improper administration, calibration, and maintenance. Common medical conditions, such as acid reflux and diabetes, could also have an impact on the breathalyzer results.
Although more medical in nature, blood tests are also subject to errors. To ensure accurate results, the blood test must follow a strict chain of command. If any link in this chain is missing, the entire test can be challenged. Using the incorrect amount of preservatives or anticoagulants in the testing process could also result in an incorrect BAC reading.
At Tracey Wood & Associates, our attorneys are known throughout the nation for their in-depth knowledge of the breath and blood evidence used in OWI cases. In fact, Attorney Tracey Wood has contributed to several publications on the topic of OWI defense.
Don’t accept your BAC reading at face value and plead guilty to your PAC charge. Complete our online form now to schedule a consultation and learn about your options.