In Michigan, What Happens If I Refuse To Take A Breathalyzer Test?

A common question our criminal defense lawyers are asked is – “Do I have to take a breathalyzer test if I am pulled over in Michigan?”. There are situations in which Michigan law will require you to take a BAC test. However, many people choose to disobey this request and accept the penalty.

A police officer can order you to take a breathalyzer test, commonly known as “Implied Consent,” in Michigan.

BAC Tests Include:

  • Blood Analysis
  • In-station Breath Test
  • Preliminary Breathalyzer Test (PBT)

Many people are surprised to learn that field sobriety tests are voluntary and can be declined – a straight line walk or standing on one leg are examples. Declining a test should be done politely. The refusal of a preliminary breath test is a civil infraction, not a criminal offense. A typical PBT is a breathalyzer test on the side of the road. A refusal to take an on-the-spot breathalyzer can result in a small fine plus court costs.

Penalties For Refusing A Chemical Test In Michigan

Under the Implied Consent law, an officer may ask you to take a chemical test after you decline a PBT. Depending on the circumstances, you might be taken to a police station for a breathalyzer test or to a hospital for a blood test. If you refuse to take the test this time, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year and 6 points will be added to your record.

People often-times decline Implied Consent BAC tests because they would prefer taking the penalty rather than giving the police potentially damaging evidence. First-offense Michigan DUI convictions can result in jail time, vehicle immobilization, hundreds of hours of community service, and fines.

An Implied Consent license suspension can be appealed. A license-suspension appeal must be mailed to the Administrative Hearings Section within 14 days of being refused or arrested.

Many people and families depend on the freedom to drive.

Do I Have To Take A BAC Test?

While you can refuse to take a BAC test – the police can force you to submit a test. If you refuse a breath and blood test an officer can get a court order to make you take a blood BAC test either at a police station, jail, or medical facility. However, once the results are in and you are found to be above the legal limit – you may not be eligible to apply for a restricted driver’s license.

We understand the weaknesses of BAC testing – mistakes can and do happen involving breath and blood tests. Breathalyzer test results may be subject to challenge based on human error or by questioning the reliability of the device. To produce a reliable chemical test result that will hold up against challenge, the officer must follow proper procedures in administering the test and the device must be in good working order and properly calibrated.

An experienced OWI lawyer / DUI lawyer can help protect your rights and fight for the best resolution for you. Having a former prosecutor who has prosecuted these cases from the other side can be used to your benefit. At Sharp & Associates Law Firm, with an experienced defense attorney and former prosecutor in your corner, we know what works, what doesn’t, and how to build a successful defense strategy.









Sharp & Associates Law Firm

Sharp & Associates Law Firm