What Happens In Michigan If You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?
Under Michigan’s implied consent law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle is obligated to provide law enforcement with a breath or blood sample upon reasonable suspicion of drunk driving. Failure to submit to chemical testing results in automatic license suspension and other penalties and does not necessarily get you off the hook for an OWI.
You have 14 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to challenge a license suspension. Once this window closes, you cannot appeal your case or qualify for a restricted driving permit. The good news is, with the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney, there are viable defenses to an arrest for a breath test refusal.
At David G. Moore, Attorney at Law, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have handled DUI/OWI cases in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and throughout southwest Michigan, including implied consent violations. Contact us online for a free consultation.
Refusal Of A Breath Test Carries Serious Consequences
Refusing the breath test is almost never worth it. The police can and will obtain a subpoena for a blood test to test your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) anyway. Depending on the findings, you can be charged with refusal and with OWI or OWVI. Even if you are not prosecuted for drunk driving, or you win your case, refusing the breath test carries a one-year license suspension.
On a first offense of refusing the breath test, you may be eligible for a hardship license through circuit court that allows you to drive to work or school. You must specifically request a hearing within 14 days. Repeat offenders (two refusals and/or drunk driving convictions within seven years) are disqualified from a restricted license, and a second charge of refusal carries a two-year license suspension.
Building The Strongest Possible Defense
If you were asked to take a breath test, our No. 1 concern as your advocate is whether the traffic stop and the arrest were legal. Did the police have probable cause to stop your vehicle? What basis did they have to demand a breath sample? Did they read you your rights and explain the consequences of refusal under Michigan’s implied consent law? When these questions are answered, our team can help build a strong defense in your case.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
If you declined an alcohol breath test and now face license suspension and criminal charges, call our Kalamazoo office at 269-216-4573, or contact our firm online to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve clients throughout southwest Michigan.