Wisconsin makes it a crime to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08%. To determine your BAC, an officer may ask you to submit to a breath or blood test if he or she suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol. However, just because you test over the legal limit, it doesn’t mean you will automatically be convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI). In fact, there are a number of potential defense strategies that could be applied to your case.
Wisconsin’s OWI law makes it a crime for your BAC to be over the legal limit while you’re behind the wheel of the vehicle. This wording is important, as your body continues to metabolize alcohol after you have consumed a drink, causing your BAC to rise. Therefore, if you consumed a few alcoholic beverages before driving, your BAC may have been below the legal limit at that time; however, as time passed between getting pulled over on suspicion of OWI and taking the breathalyzer test, your BAC could then rise until it is over the legal limit. This is known as the “rising blood alcohol” defense.
Proving that your BAC was under the limit while you were driving is a complicated matter, requiring the skill of an experienced defense attorney and an expert in the area of alcohol metabolism. To determine if the rising blood alcohol defense is applicable to your case, your attorney will ask a number of questions about how much you had to drink, when you drank it, and whether or not you consumed any food on the day of your arrest.
Alcohol is eliminated at a constant rate. Your attorney will work with the expert witness to determine when your peak alcohol concentration occurred, and work backwards from there by performing complex calculations to extrapolate the data.
As you can see, OWI defense is an extremely scientific area of practice. Fortunately, our attorneys have undergone the training necessary to identify potential defenses that can be used against Wisconsin’s BAC tests.