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Implied consent laws and their constitutionality

Wisconsin's Brad Schimel, a well-known and staunch advocate of states' rights joined 17 of his fellow state attorneys general filing a friend-of-the-court brief in three DUI cases under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The cases address state implied consent laws and their constitutionality. The brief filed by Schimel and his contemporaries argue for a decision upholding the state statutes.

Similar to other states, Wisconsin has an implied consent law that allows police officers to administer a breath, blood or urine test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC). Probable cause exists if the officer notices erratic driving prior to an initial stop and subsequent detection of bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and/or the odor of liquor.

Tests should be administered as soon as possible from the time the suspect was last driving. Penalties exist for refusal to submit to testing, including license revocation.

Schimel and his peers believe that law enforcement should have the tools necessary to catch and arrest drunk drivers. They assert that implied consent laws are not only constitutional, but also sensible and necessary to keep their respective state residents safe.

Additional states involved in the brief include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Vermont.

Arguments will be heard on April 20. The Supreme Court is likely to make a decision by the end of June.

Regardless of briefs filed by attorneys general and decisions made by higher courts, you have rights that need protection if you facing drunk driving charges. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can best protect those rights.

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