People v. Bolstad

In People v. Bolstad, 124 Wis. 2d 576 (1985) the defendant was charged with an intoxication related offense and refused to permit a blood test. At trial, the defendant made an offer of proof and explained that he wanted a physician and not a technician to draw the blood. The trial court precluded the defendant from offering an explanation regarding his refusal. In reversing the defendant's conviction, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin held that the defendant's explanation was relevant and may have rebutted the inference that he feared the test would reveal his intoxication. In reaching this determination, the Court stated " ... that any evidence that tends to rebut or diminish the force of that permissible inference is also relevant, for it tends to make less probable the fact of intoxication .... Thus, evidence that would tend to show that the refusal was for reasons unrelated to a consciousness of guilt or the fear that the test would reveal the intoxication, tends to abrogate, or at least diminish, the reasonableness of the inference to be drawn from an unexplained refusal to take the alcohol test." (Bolstad, at 585-586.)