from an order of the circuit court for Washington County: No.
2014CF144 ANDREW T. GONRING, Judge.
Reilly, P.J., Gundrum and Hagedorn, JJ.
WISCONSIN STAT. § 343.305 (2013-14)  is sometimes
referred to as the "implied consent
statute." It generally provides that drivers who use
Wisconsin roads consent to drug and alcohol testing, and
dictates various procedures and consequences related to
testing. This case is about § 343.305(6)(a), which
prescribes various permitting requirements for tests to be
"valid under this section." The question before us
is whether the results of chemical tests for controlled
substances that did not comply with the requirements of para.
(6)(a) are admissible on the charge of operating a motor
vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The defendant, Keith A.
Wiedmeyer, moved to suppress his tests results on this
ground. The circuit court denied Wiedmeyer's motion, and
we granted leave to file this permissive
appeal. We affirm and hold that test results
failing to meet the requirements of para. (6)(a) are
nevertheless admissible if the State otherwise lays the
According to the complaint, Wiedmeyer was involved in an
accident when he rear-ended another vehicle twice. Wiedmeyer
claimed that he sneezed a few times, and when he looked up
the other vehicle was directly in front of him. However,
after the accident, a witness described Wiedmeyer as
"wobbling" around the area. The officer on the
scene stated that Wiedmeyer and his vehicle smelled like
marijuana. Wiedmeyer volunteered that he had been taking some
prescription medications, and that his doctor had advised him
not to drive. Based on this admission, he was subsequently
charged with one count of OWI under Wis.Stat. §
346.63(1)(a) and one count of operating while revoked under
Wis.Stat. § 343.44. Wiedmeyer's blood was later
tested several times-once for alcohol, which came back
negative, and twice for controlled substances. The tests for
controlled substances revealed the presence of morphine and
Broadly speaking, Wis.Stat. § 343.305 relates to drug
and alcohol testing for users of Wisconsin roads. Its
provisions include consent, required notifications,
administration of tests, and suspension of licenses.
Wiedmeyer bases his appeal on § 343.305(6)(a), which
(a) Chemical analyses of blood or urine to be considered
valid under this section shall have been performed
substantially according to methods approved by the laboratory
of hygiene and by an individual possessing a valid permit to
perform the analyses issued by the department of health
services. The department of health services shall approve
laboratories for the purpose of performing chemical analyses
of blood or urine for alcohol, controlled substances or
controlled substance analogs and shall develop and administer
a program for regular monitoring of the laboratories. A list
of approved laboratories shall be provided to all law
enforcement agencies in the state. Urine specimens are to be
collected by methods specified by the laboratory of hygiene.
The laboratory of hygiene shall furnish an ample supply of
urine and blood specimen containers to permit all law
enforcement officers to comply with the requirements of this
Id. (emphasis added).
Although the analyst who tested Wiedmeyer for controlled
substances testified that she was qualified, she admitted
that she did not have a valid permit from the Department of
Health Services (DHS) to conduct tests for controlled
substances. As it turns out, DHS does not issue such
permits and has never issued them before. In addition, the
lab where the testing was performed was not approved by DHS
because DHS does not approve laboratories as contemplated by
the statute. Based on these deficiencies, Wiedmeyer moved to
suppress the test results, arguing that the results were
"invalid" under Wis.Stat. § 343.305(6)(a) and
thus inadmissible against him.
The circuit court rejected Wiedmeyer's argument and
concluded that the results were not inadmissible. The court
reasoned that Wis.Stat. § 343.305(6)(a) only applied to
"this section, " and because Wiedmeyer was not
being prosecuted under § 343.305, the results were not
necessarily inadmissible. The court also concluded that
Wiedmeyer's view would lead to absurd results considering
the objective of Wis.Stat. § 967.055 "to encourage
the vigorous prosecution" of OWI offenses. As a third
rationale, the court surmised that § 343.305(6)(a)
"might be inoperable for the want of a subject."
Wiedmeyer then sought a permissive appeal which we granted.
Neither party disputes that the testing in this case failed
to comply with Wis.Stat. § 343.305(6)(a). Thus, the only
question is whether this failure precludes admission of the
results. This is a question of statutory interpretation which
we review de novo. See State v. Nellessen, 2014 WI
84, ¶13, 360 Wis.2d 493, 849 N.W.2d 654.
Wiedmeyer's argument is premised on the proposition that
an "invalid" test under Wis.Stat. §
343.305(6)(a) is an inadmissible test in an OWI prosecution.
Paragraph (6)(a) sets the standard for the evidentiary
validity of chemical tests for intoxication, according to
Wiedmeyer-at least for tests of controlled substances. Thus,
he argues that the requirements in para. (6)(a) are
foundational and exclusive; the State must prove compliance
to have its test results admitted. Any other interpretation,
he asserts, leaves para. (6)(a)-inasmuch as it relates to the
validity of test results-without meaning. He further supports
his argument by appealing to § 343.305(5)(d), which
affirmatively grants admission to test results conducted
pursuant to para. (6)(a). Wiedmeyer also disagrees with the
circuit court's conclusion that his interpretation would
violate public policy, and that para. (6)(a) is inoperative
for want of a subject.
The plain language of Wis.Stat. § 343.305(6)(a) states
that testing must meet certain requirements "to be
considered valid under this section." Id. The
obvious, and in our view correct, inference is that validity
applies only to "this section"-§ 343.305-not
other statutes. The testing requirements of §
343.305(6)(a), therefore, do not preclude admission of
noncomplying tests. Other statutory provisions establishing a
sufficient foundation are in full force and effect. One