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Grand Rapids Breath Test Refusal

In the state of Michigan, you can be arrested and charged with OWI if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may even be charged with a second offense if your breath test results indicated your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit of .08%. But what happens if you simply refuse to take a breath test? You can’t be charged with OWI, right? Wrong. As specified by the state’s Implied Consent Law, a Michigan OWI breath test refusal will result in a mandatory two-year license suspension.

You may not realize it, but when you were first issued a Michigan driver’s license, you agreed to abide by the state’s Implied Consent Law. In simple terms, this means if a law enforcement officer ever asks you to take a breath, blood, or alcohol test, you will submit to the testing.

Consequences For a Refusal

So what happens if you refuse? First, your driver’s license will be suspended and destroyed. You will be given a temporary driving permit until your case is complete. The police will also send a notice to the Secretary of State (known as a “Notice of Refusal”) informing him or her of your violation. You will have 14 days from the time of your arrest to request a hearing to appeal your license suspension. If you miss this deadline, the Secretary of State will automatically suspend your driver’s license for one to two years, and add six points to your driving record.

Fortunately, it is possible to challenge your breath test refusal charge. If, for example, the officer who stopped you did not have probable cause to suspect you were driving under the influence, the charges cannot be upheld. Likewise, if the officer failed to inform you of the consequences for refusing to take the test, or failed to place you under arrest, you cannot be convicted for an OWI breath test refusal. It is also important to know that the Implied Consent Law does not apply to preliminary breath tests, which are administered using a portable device that officers typically carry in their vehicle.

Contacting An Attorney

If you have recently failed or refused a breath test, the most important thing you can do is contact an experienced attorney. With over a decade of experience in OWI defense, Patrick T. Barone is just that. From filing your hearing request to creating a strong defense strategy, Mr. Barone knows the ins and outs of Michigan OWI law, and can use his knowledge to fight the charges against you. Contact the Barone Defense Firm today for your free consultation.