Alcohol and chemical testing

Testing machine

Alcohol and chemical testing supports the prosecution of drunk drivers through the provision of a systematic and standardized method of measuring the breath alcohol content of impaired motorists.

The program maintains and certifies evidential breath alcohol testing instruments, trains and certifies instrument operators and provides expert testimony in court on breath alcohol and instrumentation issues. The program is also responsible for the approval of preliminary breath testing devices (PBTs), PBT operator certification and approval of ignition interlock devices.

Basic Breath Examiner Specialist Training

The Chemical Test Section’s Basic Breath Examiner Specialist Training is required for local law enforcement officers seeking to perform alcohol testing using the Intoximeter EC/IR II and preliminary breath test devices (PBTs). Upon completion of the 3-day course, successful applicants will be issued permits to conduct both evidential and preliminary breath alcohol tests. 

2018 Training sessions

Dates Location Facility Wait List?

Aug. 14-16

La Crosse

La Crosse Center

300 S. Front Street

 Yes

Sept. 18-20

Pewaukee

Waukesha County Technical College

800 Main Street

Yes 

Oct. 9-11

Kenosha

Gateway Technical College

3520 30th Avenue

 Yes

Nov. 13-15

Madison

Chemical Test Section

3502 Kinsman Boulevard

 Yes

All applicants must be employed in police work and have department approval to attend. A completed application is required for each student.

2018 training announcement

2018 application

2018 training schedule

All sessions are filled in the order applications are received. Agencies will receive an email confirmation after applications have been processed. Confirmation letters will be emailed approximately 2 weeks before scheduled training. Questions about the application process can be directed to the Chemical Test Section at chemtest@dot.wi.gov.

A wait list will be established when session reaches capacity. Applications will be accepted for wait list and will be accommodated in order received. Contact the Chemical Test Section for additional information.

Specialized Training

The Chemical Test Section also provides training for evidential recertification (required every two years), preliminary breath testing, and calibration of PBTs. 

Contact the Chemical Test Section at chemtest@dot.wi.gov for more information about these training opportunities.

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs)

Since mandatory IID requirements went into effect in 2010, WisDOT has received hundreds of calls and emails with questions about the program.

The FAQ addresses many of these questions, including:

  • Legal Issues and the Courts
  • Drivers License and Vehicle Registration
  • Fees
  • Operation
  • Installation and Service
  • Violations
  • Health-Related Issues
  • Tips and Troubleshooting
  • Appendix A: Glossary
  • Appendix B: Administrative Code and Statute Citations

Installation of an ignition interlock device

Wisconsin courts are required to order an IID to be installed on every vehicle owned by the offender for first offense OWI with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher, for all second or subsequent OWI offense and for chemical test refusal, unless doing so would cause an undue financial hardship.

IIDs are leased from a service provider for the duration of the vehicle sanction, a minimum of 12 months. The lease and service agreement includes fees for installation, monthly service, and removal at the conclusion of the sanction. Other fees may be assessed by the service provider for periodic calibration, violation resets, or permanent lockout conditions.

There are currently four IID models certified for use in Wisconsin. Additional information about each is available on the manufacturer’s websites: 

Installation of an ignition interlock device is carried out by service centers, that are located throughout the state. After identifying nearby service centers, the offender should call the toll-free number listed for fee information and to schedule an appointment for installation.

The installation must be completed within 14 days of a court order or customer request, whichever is later. OWI offenders who are serving a sentence in a county jail and qualify for daily work release privileges have two weeks to show proof of IID installation. Failure to show proof will result in revocation of work release privileges.

IID contacts

For assistance or additional information about driver licensing and vehicle registration, contact WisDOT Division of Motor Vehicles, Driver Information Section at (608) 266-2261 or via web-based form.

For all other IID topics, contact the device manufacturer; Draeger can be contacted at (888) 332-6858, Intoxalock at (877) 262-6481, Smart Start at (888) 234-0198, and LifeSafer at (888) 957-7396.

Contact Information

Chemical Test Section
3502 Kinsman Blvd
Madison, WI 53704

Fax: (608) 243-2954

Email: chemtest@dot.wi.gov