What Test is Most Important in a Michigan drunk driving investigation?

There’s a bunch, whether you know them or not, and it’s time to get familiar. Because if you’re ever asked these questions, your responses can change your financial, employment, and family environment. This is one topic you can’t avoid.

What happens when you’ve drank and are facing questions about “tests” from a police officer? How should you respond? 

Michigan Driver’s License Defense Attorney Mike Kelly Gives His Answers!

There are 3 Tests you’re likely to encounter during a traffic stop and investigation for suspected operating while intoxicated or impaired.

First, the roadside Field Sobriety Test. This can range from “pick-a-number” and “how many fingers am I holding behind my back” to the gold standard Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) like the Walk-And-Turn, One-Leg-Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (aka “follow the pen/finger”).

TAKE ‘EM OR WAIT, is the thought here. You don’t have to. The Law requires 15 minutes before phase 2 of testing so make the right decision. If you’ve been drinking even a little, just wait and say “no thank you.” If you had 2 or less in the last 4 hours (and actually like two or less), then use your discretion, and make sure to disclose pre-existing medical conditions regardless if you think they’ll be relevant. 

Second test is the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) following the initial roadside interaction with police. Whether you’ve danced and twirled or sat this one out, the next test you’ll be asked to take is the preliminary alcohol breath test. TAKE NOTE: This one is different. If you refuse to take a PBT, it is a civil infraction but you will most likely STILL be arrested for drunk driving. Don’t confuse this test with test #3! The only difference is you can buy this test at Costco, and Test #3 has a salaried person checking for accuracy.

Third and last is the Chemical Test following your arrest for suspected drunk driving. “Rule of Thumb is, TAKE THE TEST! Michigan’s implied consent law is imperfect, and it doesn’t matter if you’re actually drunk or not. If you refuse the chemical test requested (breath, blood, or urine) then you’re facing 6 points and a mandatory 1 year driver’s license suspension – before you even get to court on the underlying intoxicated driving charge.

There are few are rare circumstances where refusing the chemical test can be the best route. 

If you’re facing a chemical test, ask to call a lawyer for specific advice. If that’s not an option, Rule of Thumb: take the test. 

Don’t go it alone, #CallKelly