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Michigan DUI Testing

Under the Michigan Secretary of State’s drivers licensing guidelines, upon an arrest for suspected drunk driving in Michigan, you will be asked by the police to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Typically, the test is administered on a breathalyzer machine, but police also have the option to request a blood or urine test.

If you take the test and return a BAC result of .08% or higher, your driver’s license will be confiscated and destroyed, and in its place you will receive a DI-177 form.

Breath, Blood, Urine Test Report

The DI-177 form is officially titled the “Breath, Blood, Urine Test Report.” This is the standard form that law enforcement agents use in the case of an unlawful BAC test result. On the form, the officer will input standard information such as your name, address and license number, as well as other details pertaining to your arrest and your driver’s license.

Breath tests are the most commonly used method of measuring a person’s BAC. Officers may use one of two mechanisms to administer the test: a portable breath testing device, or PBT, and a DataMaster. However, only one of these machines is approved for use in the state Michigan.

Many police officers use PBTs to administer breath tests at the arrest site. These handheld devices are designed to aid the officer’s investigation and help him or her determine whether a suspect should be arrested for OWI. PBT results are therefore inadmissible in court, and cannot be used as evidence against you. Be aware that, under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, anyone who refuses to take a breath test will face criminal charges as well as a mandatory license suspension. These penalties apply to both PBTs and DataMaster devices.

If you are arrested for OWI, the officer may also ask you to take a second breath test once you arrive at the police station. Often referred to as evidentiary breath tests, the device used in this case is known as the DataMaster. Because the DataMaster is more reliable than PDTs, its results are admissible in court, and can be used against you.

While blood tests are less common than breath tests, they are actually the most reliable way to measure a person’s BAC. However, these tests are typically used only when the suspect was involved in an accident. Refusing to take a blood test is a felony offense.

The last type of chemical test used to measure a person’s BAC is urine testing. While this form is far less common than breath and blood tests, it is often used to determine whether a suspect is under the influence of drugs.

Paper License

The DI-177 will actually serve as your temporary driver’s license, as your plastic license will be taken and destroyed by the police. This temporary license is often referred to as a “paper license” because it is simply a paper copy of the form that serves as your license but includes details of the BAC test report.

The lower portion of the DI-177 form states that “this temporary driving permit” will only be valid if you currently have a valid Michigan license, and that any restrictions that you had on your regular license will apply to the temporary license. The form also states that the permit will be valid until the criminal charges against you are dismissed or you are acquitted, or until your license is actually suspended or revoked by the Secretary of State’s office.

DI-93 OWI

However, if you refuse to submit to the officer’s request for a chemical BAC test, you will be in violation of Michigan’s implied consent law. The police will confiscate your drivers license and destroy it. In its place, you will receive a copy of the DI-93 form.

The DI-93 is officially titled the “Officer’s Report of Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test.” This is a standardized form that Michigan law enforcement agents use in the event of an implied consent violation (a refusal to take a chemical BAC test.)

On the form, the officer will fill in basic information about you as well as other details about the incident. On the bottom portion of the form, the officer is supposed to certify by signature that he or she has given you a copy of the suspension notice and your rights to appeal the suspension.

14-Day Window for Appeal

Once you have been issued the DI-93, the clock starts ticking on your 14-day window to request an implied consent hearing with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office. If you fail to request the hearing within 14 days of receiving the DI-93, your license will be automatically suspended for one year and six points will be added to your driving record.

Failure to request the hearing within 14 days will result in a two-year license suspension if you have a prior implied consent suspension within the last seven years on your record.

Building a Defense

If you were recently arrested for OWI and were given a breath, blood, or urine test, make sure you review your test results with an experienced defense attorney. The consequences of an OWI conviction are life-altering—you may face penalties such as probation, license suspension, and even jail time. However, an experienced defense attorney can challenge the evidence against you and, in many cases, help you avoid an OWI conviction. Contact attorney Patrick T. Barone today for your free consultation.