Frequent OWI-related Questions

OWI DUI Defense Attorney Paul C. Rohloff

(920) 659-5500

Let Attorney Rohloff answer any other questions you may have. 

What does PAC mean?

PAC stands for "prohibited alcohol concentration." In the State of Wisconsin it is against the law to drive or operate a motor vehicle on a highway with a prohibited alcohol concentration. The general PAC for Wisconsin drivers is a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. For anyone that has three or more OWI convictions, their PAC is any amount over .02.

What does Alcohol Concentration mean?

"Alcohol concentration" means the number of grams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of a person's blood or the number of grams of alcohol in 210 liters of a person's breath.

Can I be convicted of both an OWI charge and a PAC charge?

After being arrested for an OWI it is common to be facing both OWI and PAC charges. However, if you are found guilty of any combination of those charges there is only a single conviction for purposes of sentencing and for purposes of counting convictions. 

What type of penalties could I be facing if convicted of an OWI offense? 
A first offense OWI is ordinarily not a criminal offense, and therefore would not result in any jail time. However, a subsequent OWI can carry potential jail or prison time along with additional penalties.  ​

If my test results show I was over the legal limit, should I just plead guilty?

No. Your test results are not conclusive evidence and can be challenged for accuracy and credibility. Simply pleading guilty will eliminate any opportunity for your case to be challenged or investigated. Before making any plea decisions, it is vitally important that you have your case evaluated. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.    

Can I refuse a roadside breathalyzer, known as a preliminary breath screening test?

​The purpose of a preliminary breath screening test is to determine whether you should be arrested for an OWI violation. It is requested when an officer has a basis to justify an investigative stop but has not established probable cause to justify an arrest. You do not have to submit to a preliminary breath screening test, but your refusal may be used to establish probable cause for an arrest. The result of the test is not admissible, but evidence that you refused to take the test is.

Can I refuse a chemical test after being arrested?

Wisconsin's implied consent law dictates that any person driving upon a public highway in the State of Wisconsin and arrested for an OWI offense are deemed to have given consent to one or more tests of one's breath, blood or urine. If you refuse to take the test(s), your license may be revoked. Your refusal will cause law enforcement to issue you a Notice of Intent to Revoke form. You will only have ten days to request a hearing to challenge the revocation. At a hearing, a judge would look at various factors to determine whether your refusal was reasonable or unreasonable.

What kind of chemical test do I have to take?

The law enforcement agency will choose between a breath, blood, or urine test. If you take all the required tests, you may choose to take further tests. You may take the alternative test that the law enforcement agency provides free of charge, or you may have a test conducted by a qualified person of your choice at your expense. 

What happens to my license if my chemical test results are over the legal limit?

Your license will be administratively suspended for six months. You will receive a notice of suspension which will serve as a 30-day temporary license. You have 10 days to request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension. If you do not request the hearing or you lose at the hearing, your license suspension will take effect at the end of the 30-day period.  

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a mechanism installed in a vehicle to prevent drinking and driving. It requires the driver to blow into the device before the vehicle can be started. The breath sample taken by the device is analyzed and if the result is greater than the pre-programmed level, the device prevents the vehicle from being started.   ​​

What if I am a commercial driver and facing OWI charges?
If you are a holder of a commercial driver's license (CDL) you are held to a higher standard on the road, and as a result face harsher repercussions for an OWI conviction. It is important you discuss your case with an attorney to ensure that every possible step is taken to protect your CDL.