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Breath Test Refusal Attorney in Birmingham, Michigan

Facing a DUI or OWI stop by police in Michigan can be a nerve-wracking experience. One of the critical decisions you'll need to make during such an encounter is whether to submit to a breath test.  

Michigan law mandates drivers to undergo chemical tests (blood, breath, or urine) to determine alcohol or drug levels under the state's implied consent law. However, the decision to refuse a breath test is one that comes with significant legal implications. 

Fortunately, our attorney at Daniel J. Larin, P.C. knows how to build a strategic defense while focusing on your best interests. We can craft a strong defense together. Our firm proudly serves clients in Birmingham, Michigan, and throughout the surrounding area including Rochester Hills as well as Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties. Schedule a free consultation today.  

Implied Consent Law in Michigan

Michigan's implied consent law stipulates that by accepting a driver's license, individuals automatically agree to undergo chemical tests if suspected of driving under the influence. This law is crucial for enforcing DUI regulations and ensuring road safety. Here's a deeper look into the components and implications: 

  • Automatic agreement: Simply by holding a Michigan driver's license, drivers give implicit consent to chemical testing for substances. 

  • Types of tests: The law covers a range of tests including breath, blood, and urine tests, each aimed at accurately determining the driver's level of intoxication. 

  • Purpose: These tests are designed to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) or detect the presence of drugs, which helps in assessing a driver’s impairment. 

  • Enforcement: If an officer has reasonable suspicion of DUI, this law empowers them to administer these tests to any driver. 

Understanding Michigan's implied consent law is essential for all drivers, as it highlights the legal obligations and potential consequences related to DUI offenses. 

Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test 

Choosing to refuse a breath test might seem like a viable option to avoid providing evidence of intoxication, but it carries steep penalties under Michigan law: 

  • Automatic license suspension: Your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year. This is a civil penalty that is separate and distinct from any criminal charges related to DUI or OWI. 

  • Six points on your driving record: In addition to the license suspension, refusing a breath test adds six points to your driving record, which can affect your insurance rates and lead to further penalties if you accumulate 12 or more points within two years. 

  • Possible use against you in court: While the fact that you refused a breath test cannot be used as evidence of guilt in a DUI or OWI criminal trial, it can complicate your defense and the overall handling of your case. 

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The Benefits of a Breath Test Refusal

While refusing a breath test during a DUI or OWI stop in Michigan has serious consequences, there are scenarios where it might offer some advantages: 

  • Delay in evidence collection: Refusing the immediate breath test may delay the time it takes for law enforcement to collect blood alcohol content evidence, possibly affecting the accuracy of the results. 

  • Potential for legal challenge: The refusal can sometimes provide a defense attorney more room to challenge the procedures or grounds for the initial traffic stop and subsequent arrest. 

  • Avoid Immediate Incrimination: By not providing a breath test result on the spot, you avoid giving direct evidence of intoxication at the scene, which might have been used to promptly justify further legal action against you. 

As per Michigan’s vehicle code, a person who was operating a commercial motor vehicle and who refuses to submit to a preliminary chemical breath analysis upon a peace officer's lawful request is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both

Steps to Take After Refusing a Breath Test

If you find yourself in a situation where you've refused a breath test in Michigan, it's crucial to know the steps you should take immediately afterward to protect your rights and interests: 

  • Contact an attorney: First and foremost, reach out to a qualified DUI attorney who understands Michigan’s laws and can provide you with the best course of action. 

  • Request a hearing: You have a limited time (usually within 14 days) after your refusal to request an administrative hearing with the Michigan Department of State to contest your license suspension. 

  • Prepare documentation: Gather all relevant documentation and evidence related to your stop and refusal, including the time of the stop, the officer's name, and any other details from the encounter. 

  • Understand your rights: Educate yourself on your rights and the legal process related to DUI charges and license suspension hearings in Michigan. 

  • Remain compliant with licensing requirements: If your license is suspended, ensure you understand the requirements for obtaining a restricted license or reinstating your full driving privileges when eligible. 

Reputable Legal Representation

Refusing a breathalyzer test isn't the end. A seasoned DUI defense lawyer can contest the suspension at an administrative hearing, arguing against its validity based on the specifics of your case and providing a detailed examination of your situation.  

Discover your options after a breath test refusal by relying on our knowledgeable legal guidance at Daniel J. Larin, P.C. for your benefit. Our attorney has the resources, experience, and compassion to fight for your rights every step of the way.  

Breath Test Refusal Attorney Serving Birmingham, Michigan

Refusing a breath test in Michigan carries significant consequences, but with the right legal approach, you can manage the implications. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your defense options. If you’ve refused a breath test in Michigan, your next steps are crucial. Daniel J. Larin, P.C., practices in DUI/OWI defense and understands how to navigate the legal system to protect your rights and minimize the impact of a refusal on your life.