If you go out to eat with a group of friends, drink a beer or glass of wine with your supper and later drive yourself home, are you breaking the law? The answer is that it depends on numerous factors. For instance, you must be age 21 or older to legally consume alcohol, and your blood alcohol content level must never be .08 or higher while operating a motor vehicle. These and other issues can lead to OWI charges in Wisconsin.
It is also true that arrests for suspected drunk driving often involve a significant amount of subjective assessments from the arresting officer. If you were arrested, the officer likely asked you to take a field sobriety test at the scene of your traffic stop. Such tests are often unreliable, and although there are observation guidelines, it is impossible for a police officer to be 100 percent objective when determining whether you should pass or fail.
Not only are you not legally obligated to take a field sobriety test, you may have an underlying health condition, past injury or other issue that impedes your ability to perform well on such tests. It is critical to understand that your inability to perform well can lead to your arrest and OWI charges, whether or not you consumed alcohol before driving! Such situations are highly stressful, and avoiding conviction can be quite challenging.
The Krische Law Office in Wisconsin can clarify state laws for you, such as the fact that there are no administrative nor legal repercussions for refusing to take a field sobriety test. Your Fourth Amendment rights protect you from unlawful searches or seizures. Your Fifth Amendment rights allow you to invoke silence when questioned without legal representation present. To increase your chances of avoiding an OWI conviction, it is always a good idea to act alongside experienced legal support.