There are obvious clues that you shouldn’t be driving after you’ve been drinking. If you are slurring your speech, stumbling around or if you’ve been vomiting, you’re already well over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. If you feel buzzed, you shouldn’t be driving either… and if you can’t manage to take a breathalyzer test because you’re passing out, you shouldn’t even be thinking about driving.
Recently in Wisconsin, a man was stopped for wrong-way driving, and was unable to maintain consciousness long enough to provide a breath sample to the police. In many cases, when a drunk driving suspect attempts to elude a breathalyzer by burping, drinking more alcohol or purposely vomiting, law enforcement in any state could see those actions as refusing the breathalyzer. Granted, you may not be physically able to supply the necessary breath, but, not testing is still not testing, and if you cannot simply blow into the device, you could be guilty of refusing the breathalyzer test.
In these instances, whether you refuse a breathalyzer or just cannot take the test, you will be placed under arrest and transported to a police station. At the station, you will be given the option to supply a breath, blood or urine sample to test your BAC. If you refuse or you are unable to give consent, Wisconsin authorities will act in the best interest of the public and could force you to submit a sample.
Not only could you be forced to submit a sample for chemical testing, but you will likely face “no refusal” charges in court on top of your drunk driving charge. Plus, since you were at the point of passing out, your BAC was probably well over twice the legal limit which means you’re also looking at a high BAC drunk driving charge. Most states have strict penalties for all of those charges, including ignition interlock requirements… once you get out of jail and work to restore your restricted driver’s license.
There is no safe amount to drink before driving, so before you reach the point of passing out or losing consciousness, be sure that someone else has your keys so you can get home safely. Even if you’re too drunk for a breathalyzer test, you’ll still be endangering others on the road and facing your bad decisions once you finally wake up.