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Tickets and Paperwork for OWI

An overview of Wisconsin OWI documents

The OWI and PAC tickets were most likely written on one of two uniform citations. One is hand-written and the other is typed into a computer and printed out. The hand-written form is a pink sheet of paper that is approximately 3 x 6” and lists your court date and location on the top left to center area. The typed form is a white sheet of paper that is 8.5 x 11” and lists your court date on the top left to center area. Both citations contain substantially the same information.

The Informing the Accused Form is a pink sheet of paper that is approximately 8.5 x 11”. That contains the information that the officer was supposed to read to you completely, accurately, and in a manner that you could understand before asking you to take a breath or blood test. (Click here to read about why this form may have been wrong and how it can provide you with a vital defense.) In addition, the officer is no supposed to provide you with any additional information regarding your decision to take this test. That also could result in a potential defense in your case. You can look at our case law section to see some ways to win refusal cases.

The Notice of Intent to Revoke is a pink sheet of paper that is approximately 8.5 x 11”. It informs you that you have 10 business days in which to request a hearing on the alleged refusal to submit to the officer’s request for a chemical test. (Click here to see the defenses that can be raised in a refusal hearing.) If you do not request that hearing, your license will automatically be revoked for one to three years, depending on what level offense this is. It also tells you that it is a temporary driver’s license. That’s largely in an attempt to get you to miss the fact that you need to request a hearing in order to avoid being automatically convicted. Once again, the government is trying to take advantage of you. And one of the new changes in the law prohibits officers from taking your actual license in the future. (Click here to see legislative changes.) You can look at our case law section to see some ways to win refusal cases. In addition, I can’t help pointing out that this form was specifically modified by the Department of Transportation in response to an issue that I helped develop when employed at Kalal & Associates, State v. Gautschi – in fact, it specifically references the case!. You’ll find that case in our case law section.

The Notice of Intent to Suspend is either a pink or yellow sheet of paper that is approximately 8.5 x 11”. It informs you that you have 10 business days in which to request a hearing to prevent the administrative suspension of your license. This is triggered by a test result of .08 or higher in 1st – 3rd offenses and .02 in 4th offenses and higher. If you do not request that hearing, your license will automatically be suspended for 6 months. If you have not been previously revoked or suspended in the last 6 months, you should be eligible for an occupational license. There is no waiting period. If you are ultimately convicted of OWI or PAC, any administrative suspension will be credited to the back end of a revocation ordered by the Court. It also tells you that it is a temporary driver’s license. That’s largely in an attempt to get you to miss the fact that you need to request a hearing in order to avoid being automatically convicted. Once again, the government is trying to take advantage of you. And one of the new changes in the law prohibits officers from taking your actual license in the future. (Click here to see legislative changes.) (Click here to see the defenses that can be raised at an administrative review hearing and how this hearing can help create defenses in your case.)

The Intoximeter EC/IR II Subject Test is a white sheet of paper that is approximately 8.5 x 11”. This provides you with the breath test result that the government is going to try to use against you at trial. It shows the test sequence that the machine followed, the serial number of the machine, and the dry gas lot number. All of these things are important because they all create potential defenses in your case. The test sequence is created by the computer program that runs the machine. Like any other program, the machine is only as good as the program that runs it. Other states have started litigation to look at these programs. Interestingly enough, the companies making these magic machines that are supposedly fool-proof, won’t turn them over. What are they hiding? In one case involving an Intoximeter EC/IR I, once Attorney Michele Tjader obtained a court order allowing inspection and testing of the machine, it was taken out of commission to avoid the inspection. The machine must pass a diagnostic test (“DIAG” on the printout). It must produce an air blank of .000 before and after any alcohol in introduced into the machine (“BLK” on the printout). The two subject tests are recorded (those are the breath samples you provided and are listed as “SUBJ” on the printout). Those samples must be within .02 of one another. If they aren’t, that could mean residual mouth alcohol. There is an accuracy check wherein the machine measures a dry gas standard that must be within .01 of the dry gas target (“ACC” on the printout). Any hint of residual mouth alcohol should require the officer to repeat the 20-minute observation period. (Click here to see the types of litigation that Attorney Michele Tjader has been involved in for years in order to challenge the procedures used by the Chemical Test Section of the Wisconsin State Patrol when they approve and certify these machines. If you speak to another lawyer, ask them if they have ever litigated these issues.)

The Blood/Urine Analysis Form from the State lab of Hygiene is a white sheet of paper that is approximately 8.5 x 11”. This provides you with the blood test result that the government is going to try to use against you at trial. It shows you the final results, who collected the sample, when it was collected, and the qualifications of the person doing the blood draw. As with the breath test printout, there are many defenses to be found here as well. If the person drawing the blood was not either a medical technician, RN, physician’s assistant, or doctor, they have to show that they were working under the direction of a physician. That may be hard to do. The test must be taken within 3 hours of the time of driving. The amount of time between placing the blood sample in the uncontrolled environment of the US Mail (yes, that’s how blood samples arrive at the State Lab of Hygiene) and its’ receipt at the actual lab may be important. Specific procedures must be followed by the person drawing the blood. Specific procedures must be followed by the person analyzing it. All of these steps present an opportunity to demonstrate that the government has tripped and fumbled. Have you ever heard the expression “close enough for government work”? That cannot and should not apply in a court of law. It’s our job to see that it doesn’t. You can look at our case law section to see some ways to challenge blood test results.