Are You Required to Submit to a Breath Test if Pulled Over in Michigan?

Criminal Law
Are You Required to Submit to a Breath Test if Pulled Over in Michigan?

Are You Required to Submit to a Breath Test if Pulled Over in Michigan?

by Van Den Heuvel Law Office

Many motorists in Grand Rapids and throughout Michigan do not understand what rights they have when they are pulled over by police. One of the biggest questions drivers have is whether they are required to take a breath test if they are suspected of a DUI. In Michigan, this is not an easy question to answer. Like all other states, Michigan has an implied consent law. However, there are two types of breath tests in the state, and drivers are only required to submit to one of them.

Implied Consent

Driving is a privilege. In order to keep that privilege, drivers must abide by certain rules and laws. Under Michigan’s implied consent law, all drivers agree to take a breathalyzer test if they are suspected of a DUI simply by having a driver’s license. However, there are two types of breathalyzer tests in the state, and drivers are only required to take one of them.

The Roadside Test

After police pull someone over for a suspected DUI, they often ask the driver to take a roadside breathalyzer test. They ask drivers to do this because it can confirm an officer’s suspicion of a DUI and provide a reason for an arrest.  Many drivers think they are required by law to take this test, but they are not. 

If you have been pulled over by a police officer, you can politely refuse to take this roadside test. This can prevent the officer from collecting evidence that would otherwise be used against you. Although law enforcement can ticket you for not submitting to this test, there is no driver’s license suspension and no points can be assigned to your license.

DataMaster Breathalyzer Test

If you are arrested for a suspected DUI,  you will be taken to the police station and there, you will be required to submit to a different breath test. This is known as the DataMaster breathalyzer test, and it is much more accurate than the roadside breath test. However, this test is still fairly unreliable, and there are defenses available if you fail it. 

Significant consequences come with refusing the DataMaster Breathalyzer test. You will face a driver’s license suspension for up to two years, and your license will have six points assigned to it. The police can also obtain a search warrant after this refusal, which will allow them to administer a blood test and gain evidence that can help with their case.

Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your DUI

Being charged with driving under the influence is a very scary thing. It may seem as though the situation is hopeless, but it is not. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyers know the defenses available for these charges, and how to use them to help you beat the charges. Call us today or contact us online to meet with one of our attorneys.



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