Wisconsin makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) above a certain level. For most drivers, the legal limit is .08%; however, commercial drivers are subject to a .04% BAC level while underage drivers could be charged with any amount of alcohol in their system due to the state’s Zero Tolerance statute. Generally, breathalyzer tests are used to measure BAC, but blood and urine tests may also be used in certain situations.
Urine tests are typically reserved when testing for drugs, as these substances—as well as their metabolites—can be analyzed in the urine. Only rarely is the urine test used to measure BAC. In fact, if this test was used when you were arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI), there is a good chance that your attorney could challenge your results.
The biggest problem with the urine test is that it does not measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in your bloodstream at the time. For example, if you had a few glasses of wine hours before driving, the urine test would still measure the alcohol compounds in your sample, making it appear as though they were consumed right before you got behind the wheel of the car.
This holds true in the case of drug testing. Because drugs can stay in your system for a period of time—even when they are not still active—they will show up in your test days or even weeks after they were ingested. For example, if you smoked marijuana or took pain killers a few days before your arrest, the urine test will come back positive for drugs even though they are no longer affecting your cognitive or driving abilities.
There have also been cases where the urine test has confused compounds. For example, in one situation, a person who had taken prescription cough medicine just a few days before ended up testing positive for heroin.
Urine testing is notoriously flawed; therefore, challenging your alcohol or drug results is possible. For more information on fighting your charges, please contact Tracey Wood & Associates today for a consultation by completing our convenient online form.