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Can I refuse the blood or breath test if arrested for drunk driving in Wisconsin?

Getting pulled over for an OWI is a serious matter that can come with major consequences. If you are looking to avoid the sentencing that can come with an OWI conviction, you will need an effective legal defense. It is also important to understand the law regarding breath and blood tests. You have a right to refuse a test, but whether or not that is a good idea really depends on the specific facts of your case.

What a refusal means

Wisconsin has a law for when a driver refuses a breath or blood test. The “implied consent” law means that a police officer can make you choose to take the test or not. While you do have a right to refuse the test, the consequences of refusal may make the choice a simple one.

If you get pulled over for OWI, the officer will likely read you the Informing the Accused Form. If you refuse the test after the officer reads the form, your privilege to drive may be revoked. If a judge finds that you did in fact refuse the test — and if you fail to request a hearing within 10 days — your driver’s license will be revoked.

Know your defense options

An OWI arrest does not automatically lead to a conviction. You have a right to defend against the charge, and there may be factors in your case that call for a reduction or even a dismissal of the charge. Your first step should be to get in touch with an OWI defense lawyer who handles cases specifically in the area of Wisconsin where you were arrested. For more on that, please see our overview of what to look for when choosing a defense lawyer for your case.