Drug and Alcohol Testing For Court

What is Court Ordered Drug and Alcohol Testing?

A Michigan court may order you to undergo drug and alcohol testing under a variety of circumstances including:

PRETRIAL TESTING:

If you are charged with a criminal offense, you may be subject to bond conditions that require abstinence from alcohol and drugs pending the outcome of your case. The Court has the authority to order random drug and alcohol testing to monitor compliance with the bond conditions.

PROBATION CONDITION:

A Judge may sentence you to a period of probation. One of the conditions of your probation may be abstaining from alcohol and drugs during that time. As in the case of pre-trial testing, the Court has the authority to order random drug and alcohol testing to monitor compliance with the terms of probation.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING METHODS: 

PBT (Preliminary Breath Test)

Commonly known as a Breathalyzer, the device analyzes the ethanol (alcohol) content of exhaled air.

The test subject’s exhaled breath passes over a fuel cell in the device creating an electrical charge that is measured. The measurement is then converted to a BrAC numerical equivalent and truncated to three decimals; e.g. .087. One drawback of the device is that it does not differentiate between mouth alcohol and deep lung (alveolar) air.

You can read more about Breathalyzers here.

EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide Testing)

EtG testing is performed on your urine sample. It is used to detect drug and alcohol consumption after the time that a breath or blood test would be ineffective in measuring a person’s bodily alcohol concentration (BAC). An EtG test may, in some cases, detect the presence of the biomarker for as long as 72 hours after initial consumption.

You can read more about EtG testing here.

Portable Alcohol Breathalyzer

These devices are more commonly known in Michigan by their brand name such as Soberlink.   A portable BAC monitor operates in a manner similar to the PBT devices used by various law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

One significant difference is that the Soberlink devices are equipped with a camera and use facial recognition to confirm identity of the subject during each breath test. BAC results are wirelessly transmitted in real-time.

You can read more about Soberlink here.

Alcohol Tethers

An alcohol tether, also known as a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring) bracelet, is designed to detect the presence of alcohol in the perspiration that forms on the subject’s skin, usually by the hour. They provide the court 24/7 monitoring.

You can read more about alcohol tethers here.

Ignition Interlock Devices

An Ignition Interlock Device measures driver breath alcohol content (BrAC) and is installed in the driver’s automobile. It is designed to prevent the vehicle from being driven by anyone who produces a breath sample that registers positive for alcohol. The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) requires the driver to submit a breath sample prior to starting the automobile.

You can read more about Ignition Interlock Devices here.

WHAT METHOD OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING WILL YOU BE ORDERED TO TAKE?

If you have been charged with or sentenced for a first DUI offense in Michigan, the most common method of drug and alcohol testing is random PBT or EtG testing.

An example of a Michigan court’s random drug and alcohol testing protocol is as follows:

  • Call a hotline between early morning hours.

  • Listen to a recording that specifies the daily testing color(s).

  • If your color is called, you must report to an agency for testing within a certain time frame.

  • You must instruct the testing agency to forward your test results to the appropriate court and department.

If you have been charged with or sentenced as a repeat offender in Michigan or charged with a OWI with a BAC of .17 or higher, you may be required to submit to a more stringent form of testing, such as daily testing, EtGs, an alcohol tether or the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle.

LOCATIONS FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING IN MICHIGAN

The court will typically provide you with locations that will comply with the court’s order for drug and alcohol testing. However, if you wish to test at a facility that is closer to your home, work, or school, you should address this with the court and ask permission to do so.

For drug and alcohol testing facilities, please visit the following:

Drug and Alcohol Testing Facilities in Oakland County

Drug and Alcohol Testing Facilities in Macomb County

Drug and Alcohol Testing Facilities in Wayne County

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING FOR COURT

It is important to take drug and alcohol testing as a condition of your bond or probation seriously.

  • Always arrive within the time slot that you have been ordered to appear ready to submit to the test with payment;

  • Abstain from alcohol and drugs as may be ordered during the time that you have been ordered to do so;

  • Make sure that you receive a signature on your log sheet from the facility each time that you appear to test;

  • Keep each and every receipt for every test taken; and

  • Bring your testing logs with you to court

FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OR TESTING POSITIVE CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES

If you skip or fail to appear for a test the Court will consider it to be a “failed” test and a violation of the Court’s order. Similarly, any positive test for drugs or alcohol while on bond or probation will be considered a “failed” test.

In either case the Judge may revoke your bond or find you guilty of a probation violation. The Court has the authority to modify your bond conditions or terms of probation upon a conviction and order some term of incarceration.

It is important to note that in the event you violate your probation, it is imperative that you engage the services of an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney to represent you at the violation of probation hearing (VOP) before the Judge.

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Summary
Michigan Drug and Alcohol Testing For Court
Article Name
Michigan Drug and Alcohol Testing For Court
Description
If you are charged or convicted of a criminal offense in Michigan, you may be subject to drug and alcohol testing for court. Find out what you should know about drug and alcohol testing.
Author
Duke Law Group