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Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test If I Get Pulled Over?

Michigan DUI Defense Attorneys Defending Against Breathalyzer Tests in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout the State

This is a very common question, and the answer is a bit complex. As trusted Michigan DUI defense attorneys, we can tell you that you do have the right to refuse a Breathalyzer test. However, in doing so you may be putting yourself at risk. Most people assume that if they do not take a breath test, there will be less evidence available to be used against them in court.

There are two Breathalyzer tests which may be administered; you may be asked by police to take one at roadside, usually referred to as a PBT, or preliminary breath test. The other is a test administered at the police station, the DataMaster breath test. In Michigan, the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit is 0.08% for individuals 21 and over.

Preliminary Breath Test (Roadside)

Police often request someone who they have pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving to take a PBT, as this test helps to confirm their suspicions. You do not have to agree, and have the right to politely refuse. By refusing the roadside breath test, you prevent evidence from being collected which could justify an arrest. However, it is important to note that while there will be no sanctions against your driver's license or points assigned to your driving record, you may be fined. Refusing the preliminary breath test is a civil infraction; by refusing to submit to this test, the police officer does not have probable cause to arrest you. Ultimately, the roadside breath test is performed in order to determine if an arrest is warranted, and to establish probable cause so that they may take you to the station for a more accurate test.

DataMaster Breathalyzer Test in Michigan

The DataMaster breath test is the test administered at the police station, and while far more accurate than roadside testing, results are not always reliable. The results from a breath test administered at the jail/police station is considered more scientifically accurate, and may be used as evidence by police to arrest or charge you with DUI. Should you submit to this test? If you refuse, your driver's license will be suspended for up to two years, and you will have six points assigned to your driving record. In Michigan, there is a law referred to as the Implied Consent Law. While you may not realize it, you agreed to give your consent to submit to a breath test if pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving when you obtained your driver's license. Once your driver's license is suspended, you will become ineligible for a restricted license unless you file a separate appeal with the circuit court. Even then, there is no guarantee you will be granted a restricted license.

Refusing the breath test administered at the police station may result in police obtaining a search warrant, which will require you to submit to a blood test. Ultimately, refusing the DataMaster test is not advised, as blood tests could result in giving the police the ammunition they need to charge you with a drunk driving offense. You could also face enhanced penalties.

Contact Michigan DUI Breathalyzer Attorney Scott Grabel Today

At Grabel & Associates, our highly skilled team of Michigan criminal defense attorneys have defended the rights of individuals accused of all types of crimes for more than a decade. Our staff brings more than 100 years of combined experience to the table for clients charged with DUI offenses; our outstanding results and proven track record attest to our team's ability to provide clients with outstanding legal guidance and representation.

We urge you to call 1-800-342-7896 now for a free consultation with our experienced case analyst. As a premier criminal defense firm widely known and trusted across the state of Michigan, we are ready to begin defending your legal rights and freedom today. Contact us online for a free consultation.

Client Reviews

Scott and Bob achieved exactly the result I was looking for. They were prompt and effective. If I ever have any other legal issues (which hopefully I don't)... I'd certainly work with them again. M. C.
Scott Grabel was kind enough to look into my situation and take his time to speak with me free of charge. Most attorneys will not do that. He gave me reassurance that I had nothing to worry about. If I am ever in need of an attorney in the future I will be calling Scott Grabel and will highly recommend him to anyone with a legal issue. G. K.
Highly recommended lawyer! Mr. Grabel is very professional and knowledgable. My case happened suddenly on Saturday, but Mr. Grabel is 24/7 on call, which was what I needed. I called on Saturday night and the front desk told me I would hear back from the lawyer shortly. Only 30mins later, I got a call from Mr. Grabel himself and he eased my anxiety quickly by explaining the situation and options I had. I knew I was in good hands. ... Z. W.