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Wisconsin Supreme Court: Blood Draw Consent Can’t Be Withdrawn


In July of 2019, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that if a driver is arrested for OWI, they can’t later withdraw permission to analyze their blood. The decision came after an Oregon, Wisconsin woman was pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Revoking Chemical Test Consent

When the woman was taken to the station, she agreed to be subjected to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in her system. However, she later changed her mind and wrote a letter to the crime lab, stating that she refused to let them analyze her blood sample. Although she sent the notice before the lab conducted the test, it continued with the analysis despite her withdraw.

Arguing the Analysis Violated Rights

The results of the blood test came back, showing that she had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .21%; the legal limit is .08%. She was charged with driving while intoxicated, as well as with having a prohibited level of alcohol in her system. During her trial, she argued that the blood analysis was unlawful because she had stated, in writing, that she did not agree to have the test completed. She claimed this violated her right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Although the prosecutor argued that the chemical analysis did not constitute a search, the trial court ruled that because the defendant withdrew consent, law enforcement needed a warrant to continue with the testing. The prosecutor appealed the decision, but the appellate court upheld it.

Appealing the Decision to the Supreme Court

The matter was then taken to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where the justices decided 5-1 that an individual cannot revoke their consent to chemical testing. Justice Dan Kelly stated that the defendant’s argument meant that a suspect in a drug possession or shooting case could withdraw permission to have the controlled substance or their fingerprints tested. However, that is not the process in the criminal justice system. He said that the defendant’s right to privacy was reduced when she was placed under arrest.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella for Seasoned Criminal Defense

Backed by over 20 years of proven legal experience, our attorney knows how to challenge evidence presented in an OWI case. We will review the details of the arrest and examine testing equipment to ensure your rights were not violated during the process. Our lawyers will fight aggressively on your behalf and will seek to get the charge reduced or the case dropped.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at (414) 882-8382 or contact us online.

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