If an officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving in Michigan, you may wonder if you have to succumb to a breath, blood or field sobriety test. While technically an officer cannot force you to take a test of any kind, refusal can have legal ramifications. This is due to Michigan’s implied consent laws.
Per Michigan.gov, when you apply for and receive your driver’s license, you give your consent to a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content or the presence of drugs in your system. Refusal to take this test has consequences separate from those that result from an OWI conviction. Consequences may include the following:
- An additional six points to your driving record
- Driver’s license suspension for one year for the first time you refuse a BAC test
- Driver’s license suspension for two years if you refused a BAC test before within a seven-year period
Upon refusal, or if your test results show that your BAC is .08 or higher at the time of the stop, the officer has the right and duty to destroy your driver’s license and issue you a paper permit. You may drive on that permit until your hearing, at which point the judge will either reinstate or revoke your driving privileges.
You may request an administrative hearing regarding the refusal. At the hearing, the officer must prove that certain elements exist. If the officer cannot prove the existence of those elements, the statutory consequences will not apply.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. It is for your educational purposes only.