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What happens if you refuse a breath test during a DUI stop?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Criminal Law |

In the state of Michigan, if you find yourself under suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer may ask you to take a breath alcohol test. The Michigan Vehicle Code makes refusing to take a breath test for a suspected DUI a crime.

You should understand that you do have the right to refuse, but also be aware of the consequences if this is your decision.

Legal basis for breath alcohol tests

In Michigan implied consent laws exist. This means that when you obtain a driver’s license, you implicitly consent to take a breath alcohol test if a law enforcement officer requests you to do so during a traffic stop involving reasonable suspicion of DUI.

Consequences of refusal

Refusing to take a breath alcohol test in Michigan carries several consequences.  An immediate impact will be a driver’s license suspension. You will lose it for one year if this is your first refusal, and for subsequent refusals within seven years, the period increases to two years.

You also will likely accumulate points on your driving record. These negative marks can affect your insurance rates and potentially lead to license revocation.

Refusal can also result in separate criminal charges. This may carry penalties distinct from those for DUI, such as additional fines, license suspensions and potential jail time.

Before deciding whether to refuse a breath alcohol test, consider the potential consequences. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and consult with legal counsel before making a decision regarding the breath alcohol test.