Stacey M. Washington, Attorney and CounselorAttorney and Counselor
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The Consequences of Refusing to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test

The Consequences of Refusing to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test.jpgIf you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Washtenaw County, the arresting officer will take you down to the police station for further investigation. After your arrest you will be asked to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test. Such tests are used to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Depending on your BAC results, you may be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Some of my clients have questioned whether to take a chemical test. Some of my clients have outright refused to take the blood test. Read on to learn more about the consequences of refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test in Washtenaw County.

Michigan DUI: Refusal to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test

Under Michigan's implied consent laws, drivers are required to take a blood, breath, or urine test in they are arrested for an OWI (DUI). All Michigan drivers impliedly consent to take a chemical test in exchange for obtaining a driver's license. If an officer has probable cause to arrest a driver for an OWI, then the driver impliedly consents to take a chemical test of his/her blood, breath or urine. If a driver refuses to take the test, the police officer may obtain a court order or search warrant that would require the driver to submit to a blood test.

The police officer is required to inform the driver of the consequence of refusing to take the test. In particular, the driver's license will be suspended if he/she refuses to take a chemical test and 6 points will be added to the driving record. The police officer must provide the driver with written notice that he/she has 14 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension.

If the driver is unsuccessful at his/her hearing, his/her driver's license will be suspended for one year. The driver will lose his/her license for two years if this is his/her second or any subsequent refusal within seven years.

Should You Refuse to Take a Mandatory Chemical Test?

I usually recommend that people take a roadside breathalyzer test ("PBT"). If a driver is going to refuse to take a roadside PBT, he/she should also refuse other field sobriety tests and make not statements about drinking to the officer. While the only consequence of refusing a PBT is a civil infraction and fine, the driver could still be arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence based on other factors observed by the officer.

Once arrested, you should take the chemical test at the police station. The police can obtain a court order that will require you to take the test anyway. In addition, even if the state does not have chemical test proof that your BAC was over .08%, you can still be charged with driving while intoxicated. Also, the Michigan Secretary of State finds very few excuses to be reasonable in refusing the chemical test after arrest. Confusion about whether you are being offered another PBT is not considered reasonable because the officer must advise you that you are not being offered another PBT and must take the newly offered chemical test. An unreasonable refusal will result in inconvenience for a year. The test results could exonerate you and you could still be charged with a crime such as reckless or impaired driving whether the BAC is over .08% or not.

Hire Washtenaw County DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI in Washtenaw County, contact my law office. A DUI conviction has serious legal and life-altering consequences. Hire an experienced attorney to avoid or reduce such consequences. I know how the criminal justice system works and I can help get the charge against you reduced or possibly dismissed.

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