Prohibited Alcohol Concentration in Wisconsin
Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC) is defined under Wisconsin Statute § 340.01(46m) as: (1) If the person has 2 or fewer prior convictions, suspensions or revocations, as counted under § 343.307(1), an alcohol concentration of .08 or more; or (2) if the person is subject to an order under § 343.301 or if the person has 3 or more prior convictions, suspensions or revocations, as counted under § 343.307(1), an alcohol concentration of more than .02. It is important to realize is when you are convicted of an OWI 2nd offense, you will be subject to an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) and the .02 PAC will apply while subjected to the IID order.
I received two citations when I was arrested for drunk driving, will I face penalties for both citations?
No. As a matter of law you will only face penalties on one charge. If you are convicted or plead guilty it will likely be to the OWI. Both the PAC and the OWI carry the same penalties. The difference between the two is in what the state must prove. With a prohibited alcohol concentration charge all the state needs to prove is that you had an alcohol concentration that was prohibited. Alcohol concentration refers to the amount of alcohol in either the blood or the breath. As stated above, if you blow a .08 or above you have violated the statute “per se.” With an OWI charge, the state must prove that you were intoxicated to a point where you could not safely operate your vehicle regardless of your alcohol concentration.
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I blew over a .08, why hire a lawyer if I am guilty of violating the prohibited alcohol concentration statute?
Having an BAC of .08 or above does not mean you should automatically plead guilty. That would be one of the worst things to do. There is much more to the defense of an OWI than the results of your breathalyzer or blood test. Our drunk driving lawyers can review your case and determine the best course of action. One of those actions is requesting an administrative review hearing with the DOT. If you voluntarily submitted to a chemical test and that test was above a .08 BAC you are entitled to a hearing. See our Administrative Review Hearing page for more information.
Madison, WI 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.
Challenging the results of your alcohol test
An OWI charge may be dropped despite the results of the breathalyzer or blood test. This can occur when there are issues with the equipment that was used to administer your test. Whether it was a Breathalyzer or lab equipment. Additionally, the officer who administered your breathalyzer must have followed specific procedures. This is also true for the phlebotomist whether a nurse or EMT. If the equipment is not up to date or the officer did not follow proper protocol, your case may get dismissed.
Another common challenge of a drunk driving charge is the traffic stop itself. The police must have a constitutionally justified reason to make a valid traffic stop and pull you over. This means that the arresting officer had at least reasonable suspicion to believe you had or was committing a crime or traffic violation. If the reason for your initial traffic stop was not supported by reasonable suspicion or probable cause then any evidence resulting from that stop can be suppressed.
Remember that all because the results of your breathalyzer was over .08 that does not mean all hope is lost. You are still innocent until proven guilty and the State must prove all elements of the crime charged. Contact Anderson & O’Connell, S.C. to discuss your case and start your OWI defense today!