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Are OWI Checkpoints Legal in Wisconsin?

DUI checkpoint sign

A night out on the town can quickly become a night of regret if a driver has had a few drinks and finds themselves in line for an OWI (operating while intoxicated) checkpoint. However, OWI checkpoints are not legally allowed in Wisconsin.

What is an OWI Checkpoint?

An OWI checkpoint is a roadblock set up by law enforcement to catch drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. These checkpoints are usually set up near bars or other places where people are likely to have been drinking.

During an OWI checkpoint stop, law enforcement will look to see if drivers are intoxicated or violating any other laws. Officers may ask a driver to submit to a breath or field sobriety test. If the officer has probable cause to believe that the driver is intoxicated, they may be arrested for OWI.

Along with several other states, Wisconsin has banned this type of activity regulating that officers may only investigate if they have a reasonable suspicion of a driver being under the influence of a substance.

What is Considered to be a Reasonable Suspicion?

In most cases, reasonable suspicion of OWI is when an officer observes erratic driving behavior. This can include weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, or making sudden stops. After pulling a driver over, law enforcement may say they have further reasonable suspicion if they smell alcohol on the driver's breath or see open containers in the vehicle.

If an officer feels they have enough reasonable suspicion to suspect a driver is under the influence, they will typically have the driver take a sobriety test and if the driver fails, they then may be charged with OWI.

What to Do if You are Charged with OWI in Milwaukee

The experienced OWI Milwaukee law team at The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz is ready to work on your case. An OWI charge is a serious offense that can have significant repercussions — don’t let this charge impact your lifestyle.

Contact our dedicated OWI attorneys online or by phone right away. (414) 375-0797

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