Drunk Driving Chemical Tests for Alcohol

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DRUNK DRIVING CHEMICAL TESTS FOR ALCOHOL

If you are suspected of drinking and driving, you may have to undergo one or more drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  The following are the tests that are administered in Michigan for suspected drunk driving OWI / DUI.

PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST

A police officer has the right to request that the driver of a motor vehicle submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) where the officer has a reasonable basis to believe that the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

If the driver agrees to take this drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol, Michigan law permits the officer to make an arrest based in whole or in part on the results of the PBT. In other words, if a driver takes a PBT, the police officer has the right to make an arrest based on the test results alone, even where the driver shows no physical signs of intoxication. The results of the PBT are generally not admissible in court except under some very limited circumstances.

It is not a crime to refuse a PBT, but there may be legal consequences to that refusal. In Michigan, refusing to take a PBT is a civil infraction that carries a fine but no points.

Since an arrest for suspected drunk driving can be made on the basis of a PBT alone and testing devices used by police officers in Michigan are notoriously inaccurate, there is virtually no advantage to taking a PBT.

However, if you are arrested even though you refused to submit to a PBT, you may be asked to take an evidential chemical test. Refusal to take an evidential chemical test after arrest carries greater penalties than refusal to take a preliminary breath test.

Also, it is important to note that if you are pulled over while driving a commercial vehicle, refusing to take a PBT has far greater consequences. In Michigan, a person operating a commercial motor vehicle who refuses to take a preliminary chemical breath analysis is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.

OTHER DRUNK DRIVING CHEMICAL TESTS FOR ALCOHOL

Drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol measure the alcohol concentration in a person’s body, referred to in Michigan as Bodily Alcohol Content (BAC). Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), DataMaster, blood analysis or urinalysis can be used as drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol. A blood test or urine test is used if other drugs are suspected.

IMPLIED CONSENT

Refusal to take a preliminary breath test and refusal to take further drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol to determine bodily alcohol content (BAC) have different penalties.

Michigan’s Implied Consent Law means that when you applied for a driver’s license in Michigan, you agreed to obey requests by police officers to take drunk driving chemical tests for alcohol to determine your BAC after being arrested for suspected drunk or drugged driving. Six points will be added to your driver record and your license will be suspended for one year if you refuse a test after being arrested.

Suspension is automatic for any refusal to take the test and is a separate outcome from any later convictions resulting from the traffic stop. If you refuse to submit to the drunk driving chemical test for alcohol under the Implied Consent Law or if the test shows your BAC is 0.08% or more, your driver’s license will be destroyed by the law enforcement officer, and you will be issued a paper permit to drive until your case is resolved in court.

The Implied Consent suspension may be appealed to the Administrative Hearings Section (AHS); however, the request for a hearing form must be mailed within 14 days of the date of arrest; otherwise, your license will be suspended automatically. While you are not required to be represented by an attorney at this appeal hearing, it is advised that you consult with an experienced drunk driving OWI / DUI lawyer before the hearing. There are a number of defenses available to a driver facing an implied consent suspension hearing. Only an experienced attorney like those at Duke Law Group have the expertise to guide you through the complexities of the appeal process.

HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DRUNK DRIVING OWI / DUI LAWYER TO DEFEND YOUR CHARGES

Given the serious nature and consequences of the charges you face for drinking and driving in Michigan, as well as the difficulties you may encounter for refusing chemical testing, it is essential that you retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. So, if you are facing a Michigan drunk driving OWI / DUI or related charge, please submit the circumstances of your case on-line or call Edward Earl Duke directly at 248-409-0484.

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