Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer if I’m Pulled Over?

Even if it’s just for a speeding ticket, getting pulled over by the cops can be nerve-wracking. But if you’re pulled over and accused of drunk driving or driving under the influence, you can quickly feel overwhelmed and completely out of control. If you are pulled over, know your rights and how to best protect yourself.

Being Pulled Over Under Suspicion of Drunk Driving

What is a Breathalyzer Test?

If you’re pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving, an officer will likely give you a field sobriety test, which consists of “the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand test.” Afterward, the officer may also ask you to blow into a breathalyzer (a breath alcohol test) to determine what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is.

In 49 states, including Michigan, it’s illegal for someone over the age of 21 to drive with a BAC above 0.08%. If a person has a BAC of 0.17 or more, it’s considered a “high BAC” crime. All states have zero-tolerance laws for drivers under 21.

Are Breathalyzers Mandatory?

If you know you had a few drinks before getting into the car, it may be tempting to simply refuse a breathalyzer or ask to take it at a later time. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not in your best interest to refuse this test. Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test the day they get their license.

If you do refuse the test, you could face serious consequences, including six points added to your driving record and your license will be suspended for up to one year.

Criminal charges are not to be handled lightly in Michigan, and you deserve an attentive and aggressive criminal defense lawyer on your side to defend against any unfair or false accusations. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today. Call (616) 344-5066 or fill out an online contact form here.