Consequences of Refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer during DUI Stop

Implied Consent Law: If arrested for a drunk driving offense in Michigan, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC) and refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer has repercussions to the drivers’ license.

Purpose: The immediate purpose of the ‘implied consent law’ is to obtain the best evidence of blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest of the person; the long range purpose is, of course, to prevent intoxicated persons from driving on the highways. Thus, the law punishes individuals for refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer.

Facts: An individual is driving South on Saginaw St., Flint MI, and is stopped by a Michigan State Trooper. A DUI Stop is then conducted (because the Trooper believes you have been drinking) where the driver will be asked to provide a proof a license, registration, and insurance. It is then typical for the Trooper to ask if the driver had consumed any alcohol prior to operating the motor vehicle; the driver will then likely be asked to step out of the vehicle to perform a number of sobriety tests. Additionally, if the Trooper believes that the driver is intoxicated,  the driver will then be requested to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), not a Chemical Test Breathalzyer. If the driver is placed under arrest, they will be transported by the Trooper to the nearest holding facility and be asked to take a Chemical Test Breathalyzer. This is where therefusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer becomes important.

Ramifications:  Refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer for the first time results in a one-year suspension and refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer second or subsequent refusal in seven years results in a two-year suspension. Further more refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer results in six points being entered on the person’s driving record. A person who refuses a Chemical Test Breathalyzer reasonably requested by an Officer to submit to the test will have his or her license confiscated and is issued a temporary permit. MCL 257.625g(1). The nature of the permit will explicitly put an individual refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer on notice that a test has allegedly been refused. The individual will then have 14 days from the date of the arrest for refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer to request a hearing. MCL 257.625f(1). Failure to do so results in an automatic one- or two-year suspension depending on the individual’s driving record.

With regard to refusal to submit to an evidentiary chemical test (breathalyzer), a hearing shall only cover the following issues set forth in MCL 257.625f:

  • Whether the peace officer had reasonable grounds to believe that Petitioner had committed a crime described in section 625c(1).
  • Whether Petitioner was placed under arrest for a crime described in section 621c(1).
  • Whether Petitioner was advised of the rights under section 625a(6).
  • Whether Petitioner unreasonably refused to submit to the test upon the request of the peace officer.

Possible Outcomes from the hearing for refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer:

  • Suspension.
  • If officer fails to appeal, charges will be dismissed.
  • First time offenders can petition the Circuit Court for their restricted license.

PLEASE DO NOT RELY upon any of the information contained in this article when trying to represent yourself. You should always consult with a drunk driving attorney before relying upon or using any written advice, article, blog etc from this website or any other website on the internet. Whenever you are involved in a possible drunk or drug driving offense contact an attorney immediately because of the possible reprecussion of refusing Chemical Test Breathalyzer and the drunk driving law.

About Josh Jones

Josh Jones is an experienced and professional Michigan Criminal Defense attorney presenting Metro Detroit, Genesee County, Livingston County, Lapeer County, and others throughout the State of Michigan. He is available 7-days a week and handles all felonies, misdemeanors, probation violations, traffic tickets, and drivers license restoration. Josh is only a phone call away and is here to help when you are involved with the criminal justice system.