Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense in Michigan and the laws reflect that. In fact, in Michigan, you don’t technically need to show you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08 percent to be charged with a drunk driving offense. The penalties that come with an OWI conviction can be severe: a hefty fine, driver’s license suspension and even possible jail time.
With the harsh consequences that come with an OWI, you might wonder whether or not it’s in your best interest to submit to a breath test if you’re pulled over after drinking. But with implied consent laws, you may face severe repercussions from not taking a breath test.
Implied consent in Michigan
Michigan, like every U.S. state, has implied consent laws. This means that as a condition of your driving licensure, you give your consent to submit to BAC test upon request from a police officer who has reasonable suspicion that you are driving impaired.
Penalties for refusing BAC test
Michigan’s implied consent laws lay out the penalties for refusing to submit to a BAC test. Anyone who refuses the test may have 6 points added to their driving record and have their driver’s license suspended for one year. These penalties are in adtion to any you may face from an OWI.
If arrested a second time within seven years for refusing to submit to a BAC test, six more points will go on your record and you may face a two-year license suspension.
You can appeal your license suspension after refusing a BAC test by submitting a request by mail within 14 days of the arrest. The courts will schedule a hearing for your case. It is a good idea to enlist an attorney with knowledge of Michigan OWI law to represent you and help you find your path forward.