Prohibited Alcohol Concentration in Wisconsin

Madison, WI

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Understanding Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Statute § 340.01(46m) outlines the definition of Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC), setting specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits based on an individual’s prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations. The statute differentiates between those with two or fewer prior incidents and those with more substantial histories or specific court orders, establishing two critical thresholds:

  1. For individuals with 2 or fewer prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations, as accounted for under § 343.307(1), a PAC is defined as an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
  2. For individuals subject to an order under § 343.301 or with 3 or more prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations, the PAC is defined as an alcohol concentration of more than .02.

A key point to note is the impact of an OWI 2nd offense conviction. Such a conviction necessitates the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on the offender’s vehicle, and during the period the IID is required, the lower .02 PAC limit becomes applicable. This stringent requirement underscores the seriousness with which Wisconsin treats repeat OWI offenses. 

Prohibited Alcohol Concentration in Wisconsin

Facing Multiple Citations for Drunk Driving in Wisconsin: Understanding Your Penalties

When arrested for drunk driving in Wisconsin and receiving multiple citations, such as for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC), it’s important to know that legally, you will only face penalties for one of these charges. Typically, if a conviction occurs or if you plead guilty, it will most likely be for the OWI charge. Despite this, it’s crucial to understand that both OWI and PAC citations carry the same penalties.

The distinction between these two charges lies in the evidence required by the state for conviction. For a PAC charge, the prosecution must only demonstrate that your alcohol concentration exceeded the legal limit, which is a .08 or higher for individuals with two or fewer prior convictions, suspensions, or revocations. This is known as a “per se” violation. In contrast, an OWI charge requires the state to prove that your level of intoxication rendered you incapable of safely operating a vehicle. Regardless of the specific alcohol concentration.

Understanding the nuances between these charges and the legal implications can significantly impact your defense strategy. If you find yourself navigating this complex legal situation, seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. This is essential to protect your rights and interests.

Received a PAC Citation? We Can Help

Challenging a BAC Over .08: Your Defense Strategy with DK Anderson, S.C.

A Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher doesn’t mean an automatic guilty plea is your only option. In fact, taking such a step without exploring your defense possibilities could significantly impact your case negatively. There’s a broad spectrum to the defense of an OWI charge beyond just the numerical result of a breathalyzer or blood test. Our experienced drunk driving attorneys are adept at scrutinizing every facet of your case to devise the most effective defense strategy.

One critical step in your defense might include requesting an administrative review hearing with the Department of Transportation (DOT). If you’ve undergone a chemical test that registered a BAC above .08, you’re entitled to this hearing, which can be a pivotal part of your defense. For more detailed information on how such a hearing could benefit your case, we encourage you to visit our Administrative Review Hearing page. At DK Anderson, S.C., we’re committed to ensuring that all avenues are explored to safeguard your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your OWI case.

Madison, WI Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) Lawyer

If you were arrested for OWI and took the breathalyzer test you know what your results are. If you blew above the legal limit of .08 you may feel as if you are guilty and your case is hopeless. That is not the case. The State must prove that you had a BAC of .08 or above and that your were operating a motor vehicle in order to charge you with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC). However there is more that must be proven to be found guilty of a OWI. The state must prove that you were impaired to point where you could not safely operate your motor vehicle. Just because you blew a .08 BAC does not necessarily mean all hope is lost. There still may be other aspects of your case that can be challenged.

How a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) Charge Can Be Challenged and Possibly Dropped

An PAC charge does not guarantee a conviction, especially when there are valid concerns about the evidence against you, including the results from breathalyzer or blood tests. Several factors can lead to the potential dismissal of your OWI or PAC charge:

  1. Equipment Issues: The accuracy of the breathalyzer or lab equipment used for testing is critical. If the equipment wasn’t properly calibrated or maintained, the reliability of your test results could be questioned.

  2. Procedure Adherence: The officer conducting the breathalyzer test or the medical professional (nurse, EMT, phlebotomist) drawing blood must adhere to strict protocols. Any deviation from these standardized procedures might render the results invalid.

  3. Legality of the Traffic Stop: For a traffic stop leading to an OWI charge to be legal, the officer must have had at least reasonable suspicion of a crime or traffic violation. If the stop was made without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, any evidence gathered as a result may be suppressed.

The principle of being innocent until proven guilty stands firm. Therefore, for a conviction, the State is required to prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re facing an OWI charge and the breathalyzer indicated a BAC over .08, don’t assume your case is lost. There are numerous defense strategies that can be explored to challenge the charge.

At DK Anderson, S.C., we understand the complexities of OWI defense and are prepared to scrutinize every detail of your case. Contact us to discuss your situation and begin strategizing your defense today. Your rights and future deserve a vigorous defense, and we’re here to provide just that.

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