Refusing the Breath Test in Michigan Could Cost You Your Driving Privilege

If you live in Michigan, you already know that the laws regarding drunk or impaired driving are very strict. When a police officer pulls an individual over on suspicion that the driver is driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may request that you take a breath test. If you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically.

When a police officer suspects OWI (operating while intoxicated), under the law he or she may arrest you, and have blood drawn for chemical testing. Police in the state of Michigan have the authority to arrest someone when that person is operating a motor vehicle on a highway, roadway, or any area open to the general public when they see visible signs of impairment. In most cases, the officer will request that the driver take a breath test; this is to help confirm his or her suspicion that the driver is indeed operating under the influence. If you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended on the spot for one year – even if you are a first-time offender. If it’s a second refusal within a seven year period, this suspension increases to two years.

All of this being said, this is an administrative process whose propriety may be questioned on various grounds in court. For example, the stop may have been unlawful if police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. A skilled Michigan drivers license reinstatement lawyer will thoroughly review your case to determine if there may be valid grounds to challenge the suspension of your license. In many cases, it is helpful in restoring an individual’s driving privilege when he or she has no prior criminal history or DUI arrest.

Even if you do take the breath test and fail, the court may suspend your driver’s license upon conviction or admission of guilt. Depending on the severity of the charge and whether it is a first, second, or third offense, the length of time your license is suspended may vary. In some circumstances, your license may be revoked, which is even more serious.

Regardless of your situation, it is critical to defend your driving privilege. A seasoned Michigan drivers license restoration lawyer will examine your situation and determine the steps most effective for having your driving privileges restored.

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