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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

What You Need to Know about Implied Consent

Iconsentmplied consent laws exist throughout the country, but slight variations exist from state to state.

What do you need to know about Michigan’s implied consent law?

According to Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, anyone applying for a drivers’ license agrees to submit to sobriety tests if requested by law enforcement. These tests are typically administered during traffic stops when it is believed the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The law also requires drivers to be informed of their rights prior to the request to submit to the test, including the right to get a follow-up test from your own independent provider. According to the law, refusal to submit to the test could result in six points on the driver’s license and a license suspension of one year.

In cases of the second refusal of a chemical test within seven years, the suspension can be two years.

Even if the ultimate outcome of your case is that you are found not guilty of drunk driving or your case is dismissed, the suspension of your license could remain in place because you broke the law by refusing the sobriety test at the time of the initial traffic stop.

But does this mean you have no choice but to submit to a sobriety test if you are stopped by law enforcement?

Protect Your Rights during a Traffic Stop

Knowing what to say and do during a traffic stop can help you protect your rights and preserve your driving privileges, even if you refuse the sobriety test. The suspension of your license might seem automatic when refusing a sobriety test, but this isn’t always the case.

If you refuse the test, the officer will give you a paper called the Officer’s Notice of Refusal (Form DI 93). This form explains that your license will be automatically suspended unless you request a hearing before the Secretary of State within 14 days.

You can preserve your driving privileges by requesting this hearing, even if you refuse a sobriety test. However, you need to work with an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected and you are treated fairly based on the law.

Despite implied consent laws leading drivers to believe they have no choice but to consent to a sobriety test, this is not actually the case and lawyers have argued successfully that drivers coerced into consenting have their fourth amendment rights violated.

Did You Give Actual Consent?

If you’re asked to take a sobriety test during a traffic stop, the court will need to consider whether you gave actual consent. This means the test was administered on a voluntary basis and you knew you had the option of refusing to take the test.

If law enforcement threatens you or tells you there is no choice but to take the test, an experienced drunk driving attorney can argue your rights were violated during the traffic stop and the results of the test cannot be used against you.

Laws regarding implied consent and sobriety tests can be confusing and in some cases, law enforcement takes advantage of this confusion. It’s imperative you find an attorney who has experience defending those accused of drunk or drugged driving, and that he or she understand implied consent laws.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case, contact Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594.

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