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OWI – Implied Consent Law – Warnings re: Consequences for Refusal

State v. William K. Nord, 2001 WI App 48, 241 Wis. 2d 387, 625 N.W.2d 302
For Nord: Timothy J. O’Brien

Issue: Whether the implied consent statute, § 343.305(4) violates due process by providing misleading information regarding the consequences for taking or refusing the test.

Holding: The warning that the motorist “will be subject to other penalties” beyond revocation doesn’t overstate the consequences for refusal, because refusal can result in substance assessment, treatment, and seizure of the vehicle (the court construing “penalties” to mean “consequences” as opposed to “a narrow, hypertechnical definition” limited to “punishment”). ¶¶8-10. Nor does the warning understate the consequence for consenting, in that it adequately conveys the potential for incarceration if the test result exceeds the legal limit. ¶¶11-14.

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