When a person is pulled over for a suspected OWI or worse, arrested for the offense, that person is usually asked to submit to a breath test. Many people think that they have the option of refusing this test. While it is true that law enforcement cannot force you to take this test, there are consequences for refusing. This is because it is assumed that all drivers have given their implied consent just by getting behind the wheel. Driving is a privilege, and so, drivers are expected to submit to this test. When they do not, they can face serious consequences.
It is also important to understand that you do not even have to be driving in order to give implied consent. You only have to be in control of a vehicle. As such, if you are behind the wheel and have the keys, law enforcement can ask you to take a test.
The breath test, whether it is conducted at the side of the road or at the police station, works very simply. An officer will give you a DataMaster machine and ask you to blow into it. Once you do, the machine will show your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If that level is over .08%, you will likely be arrested.
It is not only breath tests drivers are asked to submit to. They are also often asked to undergo a blood or urine test. These are typically taken in a hospital setting and strict protocols are in place to ensure that the samples are not compromised.
Regardless of the type of test you take, a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney will know how to challenge the results when they lead to charges.
Due to the fact that Michigan law recognizes that you have given your implied consent, there are penalties for refusing any type of chemical test. Refusing to submit to chemical tests will result in six points added to a driver’s license and a driver’s license suspension for at least one year.
It is very important that all drivers in the state understand that while there are penalties for refusing chemical tests, there are no penalties for refusing field sobriety tests, such as the one leg stand test. As such, drivers should never submit to these tests as they are highly subjective and can easily lead to an arrest.
If you have been charged with an OWI in Michigan, it is important that you do not take on your case alone. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyers are here to help. We know how to defend against these charges to give you the best chance of beating them. When you need legal help, call us or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.
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