Michigan is tough on drunk drivers. The state carries heavy penalties for those drivers found with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher if you are over age 21 and .02 or higher if you are under 21. There are also more serious penalties waiting for anyone with a BAC that is .17 or above. Here is what you should know about drunk driving in Michigan before you are pulled over drunk.
You Could Face Serious Consequences When Pulled Over Drunk
People with a first offense and BAC below .17 could face a $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, 360 hours of community service, 180 days of license suspension and 6 points on their license. If your BAC is higher on the first offense, then your fees and jail time increase drastically. Community service and points remain the same, but the fine rises to $700, you could face up to 180 days in jail and a one-year suspension of your license. Offenders will be required to complete an alcohol treatment program; they may face limited driving privileges and could face additional fines and costs.
Do Not Refuse Field Sobriety Testing
Officers commonly do not perform the field sobriety tests correctly and the time the tests take could be important. Your blood alcohol could be on its way down while you are taking the field sobriety tests. Thus, if you choose to take the field sobriety tests your blood alcohol could go down enough in the interim period for you to pass the Datamaster Breath test. The attorneys at Rudoi Law are certified in the standardized field sobriety testing and can often times cross examine the officer who performed the tests effectively and call their claim that you failed the tests into question.
You May Want to Refuse The Preliminary Breath Test
Refusing the preliminary breath test is a civil infraction ticket. Thus, the refusal will cost you a ticket. However, you will not face license suspension based on implied consent. Implied consent only applies to the Datamaster Breath Test, NOT the Preliminary Breath Test. The Police need probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving and the Preliminary Breath Test will often give them the evidence they need to arrest. Refusal to take the Preliminary Breath Test may give your lawyer a point of attack in that they police may not have had probable cause to arrest and force you to take a chemical test.
Do Not Refuse the Datamaster Breath Test at the Police Station
When you get your driver’s license, you are agreeing to take a breath test if an officer requests. Refusing to take the test at the police station can result in an automatic one-year suspension of your license. You may think it’s better not to take the test if you know you will fail, but it’s actually better to take the test and let qualified attorneys work on having the results thrown out.
However, if you do not have a driver’s license on the date of the incident it may be in your best interests to refuse the chemical test because you cannot have your driver’s license suspended if you don’t have a driver’s license to suspend. If you do decide to take the Datamaster Breath Test it is in your best interest to refuse the second test they will ask you to take. The second test usually only confirms the results of the first test and will make it more difficult for your attorney to call the results of the first test into question.
Dispelling the Myths About Videos
Most police cars in Michigan have videos on board. Clients often think the videos won’t help them, but this isn’t always the case. Videos serve to show you what kind of condition you were actually in, and they can help your case. The videos can help lawyers determine if there was anything unlawful about the traffic stop, and they might even show that you were just fine. The sooner a video is investigated and collected, the better off you are in court.
The best choice is to take steps to avoid getting a DUI in the first place. Don’t drive drunk, and make arrangements for a designated driver before going out for the evening. However, if you are pulled over drunk, your best bet is to cooperate with the police officer.
Write down all the information you can remember from the stop when you get home, and hire an attorney to help you defeat the charges as soon as possible.