Implied Consent and Refusing a Breath Test in Michigan


What is the Implied Consent Law?

Michigan’s Implied Consent Law is a law that governs the issue of whether or not a driver may refuse to submit to a Breath test, and what the consequences of that refusal will be.


Currently, Michigan law requires that anyone arrested for drunk driving here in The Great Lakes State, will be required to take a chemical test that will determine their bodily alcohol content (BAC).


Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test. The simple fact that you are driving on a road in Michigan means that under this law, you have already consented to submit to a BAC test.


It’s important to note that you don’t have to be driving for this law to apply. You could be sitting in the driver’s seat of a car that isn’t running. Even a person sitting behind the wheel of a parked car might be subject to this law. This is why we suggest, if you intend to ‘sleep it off’ in your vehicle before you drive home, make sure that you are in the backseat of your car, and the keys are in your pocket, not in the ignition!


What Does the Test Involve?

The test can be either a DataMaster breath test, or a chemical analysis done on a blood or urine sample. Chemical breath tests are done at the time of the arrest, at the police station or  jail.


Blood and urine samples that are collected for analysis must be taken by medical professionals, usually in a hospital setting. In these cases, strict chain-of-evidence protocols must be followed to ensure that the results are not compromised in any way.


Both breath testing and blood / urine testing are subject to scrutiny and challenge. The most experienced drunk driving defense attorneys have extensive training in methods to challenge the reliability of these tests and test results.


Penalties for Refusing to Submit to the Test

Anyone who refuses to submit to the test at the police station or jail is penalized. This is called a refusal case. A refusal to be tested means that you will automatically receive six points on your driving record, plus your driver’s license will be suspended for a full year. This is a non-negotiable punishment that is automatically assessed  to anyone who refuses to submit to the test DataMaster test at the police station or jail.


a man drinking beer while driving a carIf you are arrested for drunk driving a second time with a seven year period and again refuse to take the test, another six points will be added to your license and your driver’s license will be revoked for two years. Refusal cases can be challenged at an administrative hearing by well qualified lawyers.


Anyone arrested for suspected drunk driving, will have their license destroyed by the arresting officer at the scene. The police officer will then issue them a 625g paper permit that they will have to use for driving until the case is resolved in court.


These are the civil penalties, however, and are not to be confused with the criminal penalties for refusing to submit to the test. Under Michigan law, refusing to submit to the DataMaster / blood or urine analysis requested by the arresting officer is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and fines of up to $100.00.


What Do I Do If I’m Pulled Over for Drunk Driving?

If an officer pulls you over because he or she suspects that you have been drinking and are now too intoxicated to drive, we do recommend that you safely and immediately pull over to the side of the road. Use your turn signal. If it is dark outside, turn on the interior lights in your vehicle. Roll down your windows. Place your hands on the top part of your steering wheel. Don’t make any sudden or suspicious moves that might alarm the officer. Be polite and cooperative with the officer in providing your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.


You are not required to take the preliminary breath test (PBT) using the small, hand held testing equipment that officers carry in their car. You are not required to answer any questions at all. You are not required to do an field sobriety tests. Follow the orders of the police officer if he directs you to exit your vehicle. Don’t try to run, escape or resist the officer. Be compliant and polite.


An officer performing a roadside sobriety test on a drunk manHowever, while you should submit to the test at the police station or jail (but not at roadside) because the law requires it of you, we also advise that you not say anything else to the officer!


Again, be polite and respectful, but do not answer any questions and do not give any information without first insisting that your attorney is present. The more you say, the greater your chances are of possibly incriminating yourself. So when arrested, remember that silence is golden!


Experienced Michigan Drunk Driving Attorneys

Drunk driving charges are no joke here in Michigan! Our state is tough on drunk and drugged drivers.If you’re pulled over and arrested for drunk driving, you’re going to need an excellent DUI defense attorney on your side, working to defend your rights and ensure that you are protected against trumped up charges and false allegations.


At The Kronzek Firm, we have decades of experience defending people accused of drunk driving all over the southern half of the lower peninsula in the state of Michigan. We are sought after by those who have been accused of operating while intoxicated, and have had great success in defending them, both in and out of court.


If you have been arrested for operating under the influence, or are facing DUI charges, contact our drunk driving defense team immediately at 866 7NoJail.  That’s 866 766 5245. We can help.


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