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The potential consequences of violating implied consent laws

| Feb 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

As a condition of receiving a Michigan driver’s license, you must agree to adhere to the state’s implied consent rules. Essentially, you agree to submit to chemical testing if an officer believes that you are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a general rule, there is no benefit to refusing to live up this obligation.

Your license will be suspended for a year

Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test will result in an automatic license suspension that will last for a full calendar year. If you have refused a chemical test within the past seven years, your license could be suspended for two years.

A judge might order you to take the test anyway

A police officer cannot force you to take a Breathalyzer test without your permission. However, they can seek a court order compelling you to submit to a chemical test. Ultimately, there is a chance that you could lose your license and still provide authorities the evidence that they need to charge you with a crime.

Failing to take a test could imply guilt

Authorities will likely use the fact that you refused to submit to chemical testing as proof that you were driving while impaired. A criminal law attorney may be able to talk more about how this fact might be used against you during a trial. It’s important to note that this line of evidence on its own isn’t necessarily enough to convict you of DUI.

If you’re charged with DUI, it is important to speak with an attorney as quickly as possible. This is true even if you did submit to a blood, urine or Breathalyzer test. Under state law, you may be sentenced to jail time, a fine or other penalties if convicted of driving while impaired even if you lack a criminal record. An attorney may attempt to get the charge reduced or dismissed by suppressing evidence or casting doubt on information presented during a trial.