Can you refuse to take a Breathalyzer?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

If you are over 21 years of age and have recently been pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, you may worry about having to take a Breathalyzer. As it turns out, while refusing to take a Breathalyzer in some cases can be problematic, it is within your rights to refuse in certain circumstances.

It’s important to know Michigan’s laws regarding roadside Breathalyzer tests so you’ll be prepared if you are ever pulled over.

Michigan’s implied consent act

If you are pulled over, and the police officer requests you to take a Breathalyzer, your refusal is considered a civil infraction and is punishable by a fine of up to $100, up to 93  days in jail or both. You may also lose your license.

If you are arrested, Michigan’s implied consent act states that any individual who chooses to operate a vehicle consents to submit to a chemical test if they are arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Refusal to take a chemical test after an arrest is an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Blood alcohol content (BAC) can be determined by a blood, urine or breath test, and the driver can choose who will administer one of those tests. If your BAC is between .08 and .17 and your first offense, you may receive a fine of up to $500 and up to 93 days in jail, suspension of your license, community service and six points on your license. A higher BAC or subsequent convictions carry significantly higher penalties.

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you want to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process and that you are given every opportunity to fight for a successful outcome.