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Why You Can’t Wait to Contact on Attorney on a Drunk Driving Case

SHORT ANSWER: you have 10 days to request hearings or you lose your opportunity to contest a loss of your license that may occur before your first court date.

Refusal Hearings Must be Requested within 10 Working Days

  • • You need to look at your paperwork to determine where the request for a hearing needs to be sent.
  • • The refusal hearing paperwork is supposed to be handed to you at the time of the refusal.
  • • A refusal is an allegation that the defendant unreasonably hesitated, delayed, or refused to take a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine when asked.
  • • The document alleging a refusal to take a chemical test is entitled NOTICE OF INTENT TO REVOKE DRIVING PRIVILEDGES.
  • • Receipt of the notice initiates the 10 day time limit to request a hearing or be defaulted.
  • • A default or failure to request the hearing within the 10 day time period results in the penalties for refusing to take the chemical test which include a conviction for the refusal, which counts as a drunk driving, revocation of driving privileges with a waiting period for an occupational license, requiring installation of an ignition interlock device, and a requirement for an alcohol and other drug abuse assessment and follow up treatment.
  • • The 10 days does not include the day that it was issued, Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. Wisconsin Statute 801.15 defines time when action within less than 10 days is required.
  • • Refusal requests must be in writing and delivered to the place designated on the notice.
  • • Best practice is to physically hand deliver the original which will be date stamped, and to then obtain date stamped copies to prove a request was timely filed. Faxes are a secondary option as long as proof of fax transmission is available. The concern is being able to prove that a timely request was made.

Administrative Suspension Hearings Must be Requested within 10 Working Days

  • • Test results may generate a NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUSPEND DRIVING PRIVILEGES document.
  • • The notice of intent to suspend driving privileges document will contain the information that the request must be in writing. It will also contain the address of the Wisconsin DOT section that the request must be sent to and will contain a fill in the blank two page form on which to request a hearing.
  • • The document will also contain an authorization of the driver to release information which should be filled out along with an affirmative request that must be handwritten and asks for the police reports.
  • • The notice of intent to revoke will have a date in the upper right hand corner that serves as the beginning of a 30 day time period, after which the defendant driver’s license will be suspended by the DOT.
  • • This suspension has been held not to be a violation of double jeopardy or punishment before proof of the offense by the United States Supreme Court in Neville v. South Dakota.
  • • If a timely request is filed the arresting officer or officers may be subpoenaed by your attorney to testify at an administrative hearing which will be held within the 30 days.

Contact Rudolph Law Today!

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