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Should I Refuse a Breathalyzer? Michigan DUI Lawyer Answers

Should you refuse a Breathalyzer when being stopped for drinking and driving? Call Michigan DUI lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806. 

Every case is different and you should consult a lawyer before making the decision, but in the majority of cases it is better to refuse the preliminary breath test (PBT) and agree to the implied consent chemical test. 

The the key difference between a PBT refusal and an Implied Consent refusal is that the PBT occurs before you are arrested (usually on the side of the road) and the refusal is only a fine, whereas implied consent occurs after attest and refusal results in 6 points being added to your driving record and your license is suspended for a year. 

Understanding the DUI arrest 

Once the police have pulled you over for committing a civil infraction (or for some behavior that lead the officer to believe that you have been drinking) the officer will attempt to gain evidence to use against you.

The officer is looking for probable cause that you are driving under the influence. The officer will try to get you to admit you have been drinking. The officer will tell you that you smell like booze. The officer will ask you incriminating questions such as, “How much have you had to drink tonight?”. Notice how the question is praised, it assumes you have been drinking. The officer may order you out of the car to perform field sobriety tests and ultimately to take a preliminary breath test. All of these tests are designed to lead to your arrest – not your release. The officer is deciding if they have enough evidence to arrest you for drinking and driving. 

Refusing a Breathalyzer

The PBT is a tool used to gather evidence of a crime and support an arrest. If you refuse the preliminary breath test (PBT) the officer will have less evidence to use against you, and may result in your release. A preliminary breath test is the test that is offered or demanded by the police officer on the scene before you are arrested.

The officer may still arrest you without the PBT, but if there wasn’t enough evidence the judge could dismiss the case later. If you refuse the preliminary breath test the punishment is a civil infraction, not a crime, and zero points on your license. 

Refusing an Implied Consent Chemical Test

The state of Michigan has deemed that you have consented to chemical testing once you have been arrested for drinking and drivingThis is the Michigan Implied Consent Law for chemical testing. This chemical test can come in the form of a breath test, urine test, or blood test. 

The implied consent test would come after you are arrested and usually at the police station, but could also happen at a medical facility in cases of blood draws.

If you refuse the Implied Consent chemical test the punishment is 6 points on your license, and your license will be suspended for a year. This means no driving at all for any reason. It is highly likely that the police will get a warrant for your blood if you refuse the test and they will get the evidence anyway.

Even if you beat the drinking and driving case you could still wind up with the punishments of the implied consent refusal.

Every case is different, before making a decision to refuse any chemical test consult with your lawyer. Weigh out the possible penalties and benefits that you will face as a result of a refusal.

Michigan DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with drinking and driving or are facing an implied consent refusal contact Michigan DUI lawyer Aaron J. Boria today (734) 453-7806. We are not afraid to take a DUI to trial like many so called DUI lawyers. We also work hard for our clients getting the best deals possible to avoid a stressful trial when desired also.