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What to Know if Pulled Over for Michigan DUI

Sep 1st, 2016 Breath Testing DUI Stops

Drunk Driving Suspects have many Rights.  However, most drunk driving suspects are unaware of the rights they have during the investigation, the arrest, and thereafter.  If you have been arrested for drunk driving, or represent someone who has been arrested for drunk driving, it is necessary to clearly understand those rights.

It is commonly understood that we all have a right to remain silent, but silence is rarely adhered to after being stopped and investigated for Drunk Driving.  In that same regard, you have a right not to perform Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) when asked by an officer because these tests are voluntary, but the officer will not inform you that they are voluntary.

Further, an officer will often request a suspect to submit to a roadside or preliminary breath test, a PBT.  Prior to that request officers are required to read the suspect their PBT rights.  You have the right and should refuse this test, but you will be subject to a civil infraction ticket for PBT Refusal, which would include a fine but no points on your driving record.  Further, that test is inadmissible at Trial and is only used to establish probable cause to support an arrest.

Once arrested, you will often be transported to the County Jail or arresting agency’s station for a chemical test.  Prior to any test being performed an officer is required to read Chemical Test Rights.  Unfortunately, under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law it is not necessary for you to “understand” your Chemical Test Rights, only that they are read to you.  However, you may request a copy of the Chemical Test Rights to read independently.

After these rights are read the officer will request that you submit to a blood, breath, or urine test.  In a majority of cases, the officer will request a breath test on the BAC Datamaster, a breathalyzer.  This test is completely separate from a roadside breath test.  You have a right to refuse, but you will then be subject to a possible 6 points and 1 year license suspension and in a majority of cases a Warrant will be obtained to have your blood drawn.  In addition, if you do submit to the breath test, or whichever test was requested by the officer, you have a right to have your own independent test performed.  Lastly, you may request to speak with an Attorney, but unfortunately again, you do not necessarily have a right to speak with one prior to submitting to a chemical test.

Finally, an officer is not required to provide you Miranda Rights unless the officer intends on asking you further questions, or interrogating you, after you have been arrested.  Typically, an officer feels he or she has sufficient evidence and information obtained during the investigation wherein it is not necessary to interrogate a suspect.  However, you should always elect your right to remain silent, request an Attorney, and not answer any questions if the officer does provide you Miranda Rights.

If you feel any of these rights have been violated it is imperative to inform your attorney, so they may better represent you and protect your rights .