What if I refuse to submit a breath test?

Under the Michigan Implied Consent Statute, an automatic one-year suspension is initiated against an arrested driver when he refuses to submit to breath or blood testing. This law states that each person who operates a motor vehicle on Michigan roadways has impliedly consented to provide a specimen of breath or blood if arrested for OWI-DUI, and faces the applicable consequences if refusing to submit to testing.

It is important for the driver who refuses testing to know that they have 14 days in which to request a Secretary of State Implied Consent hearing to challenge the suspension of their license. If no hearing is requested within 14 days of arrest, then the driver license will automatically be suspended shortly thereafter. If a hearing is requested, no action can be taken regarding suspension until after the hearing takes place. It is critical that you have an experienced OWI-DUI attorney represent you during your Secretary of State Implied Consent hearing. The police officer who arrested you is also required to attend the hearing, and if he does not appear, then your license will automatically not be suspended. If the officer does appear, then an experienced attorney will cross-examine him and look for weaknesses in his testimony.

At the Secretary of State Implied Consent hearing, the arresting officer must prove the following:

  • Whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to justify stopping a motorist
  • Whether the officer had probable cause to arrest the motorist for drunk driving
  • Whether the officer complied with Michigan Implied Consent law in offering the driver an opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood
  • Whether the driver refused to provide a specimen of breath or blood

Attorney Richard Lippitt will work diligently to prevent your license from being suspended, but should it be suspended, he will apply for hardship driving privileges via a special hearing that takes place at your county’s Circuit Court. Generally, a hardship license – allowing someone to drive for purposes of employment – is freely granted by the court.

Posted in: