While most Michigan DUI defense attorneys would advise not to submit to roadside breath tests when pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, breath or blood tests administered at the police station or hospital are an entirely different matter. If you refuse to submit to either of these tests, you violate the state’s Implied Consent law. Under this law, every person who has a driver’s license and who operates a motor vehicle consents to complying with these tests upon obtaining a driver’s license. So, what happens if you do not comply? Your license is automatically suspended for one year.
If your driver’s license has been suspended due to refusal to take a breath/blood test, you have 20 days to challenge the suspension through a Secretary of State Implied Consent hearing; you must request this hearing. Once you request this hearing, your license cannot be suspended until the hearing is complete. The arresting officer must attend this hearing, however if he/she does not attend the hearing, you win automatically, meaning that your driver’s license will not be suspended.
Having an experienced attorney represent you during this hearing is critical, as in most cases the arresting officer will appear, and his testimony must be challenged in order for you to be successful in retaining your driving privilege. Some of the subjects that will be approached by your attorney in cross-examining the police officer include:
- Whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- Whether the officer complied with the state implied consent law (basically, whether he/she did in fact offer you the opportunity to provide a breath/blood test)
- Whether there was probable cause for your drunk driving arrest
- Whether you did actually refuse to consent to breath/blood testing
Fighting for your driving privilege is essential; until you have lost this privilege and had your license suspended for one year, you cannot imagine the hardships you will face.
If you have had your driver’s license suspended due to alleged violation of the Implied Consent law, speak with an experienced Michigan driver’s license attorney right away. You have only a 20-day window of time, so do not wait.