Chemical Test Refusal – What’s Next?

What is a Chemical Test?

If you are arrested for a DUI/OWI, Michigan law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test. 

Michigan’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking this chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content).  The test must be taken as soon as possible from the time when you were last driving. The officer gets to choose which test you take, but the law gives a special exemption for diabetics, hemophiliacs, or people taking anticoagulants – they don’t have to take the blood test.

Additionally, Michigan law states that you consent to taking a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. This works like a field sobriety test. The officer will use the results to establish probable cause that you were driving under the influence. You could refuse to take this test, but you would have to pay a fine.

You can read about the preliminary breath test and Michigan’s implied consent law in the Michigan Compiled Laws 625(a) and 625(c).

In Michigan, are police required to measure your BAC?

Michigan law doesn’t require the police to measure your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) within any specific amount of time of after you have been pulled over while driving. But, to prove an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) based on a BAC of 0.08% or more, the prosecutor must show your BAC was over the legal limit (0.08%) at the time you were driving. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecution might have more difficulty proving its case when there’s a long delay between when you were driving and when police measured your BAC.

What if I refuse?

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to take test 1 year license suspension 2 year license suspension 5 year license suspension

In Michigan, it doesn’t benefit you to refuse the chemical test. If you do, your license will automatically be suspended by the Secretary of State (SOS) for 1 year (for 1st offense). At the time of refusal, you will get a written notice from the police officer that gives you 14 days to request an appeal hearing with the SOS to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license.

The appeal hearing will cover only the following issues:

(a) Whether the peace officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person had committed a crime described in section 625c(1).

(b) Whether the person was placed under arrest for a crime described in section 625c(1).

(c) If the person refused to submit to the test upon the request of the officer, whether the refusal was reasonable.

(d) Whether the person was advised of the rights under section 625a(6).

*The penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test are found in the Michigan Compiled Laws 257.625(f).

If you’re denied the appeal of your license suspension by the SOS, the next step is to appeal for a hardship or restricted driver’s license through the Circuit Court.

 

Get Help With Your DUI/OWI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Oakland County, please reach out to us for help. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI/OWI has serious consequences, especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about Michigan’s laws and about how the system works in your District’s court.

 

 

Important Facts – Michigan OWI Law

In the state of Michigan, you can get an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) – sometimes called a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) – if you drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08% or higher or with any amount of a “controlled substance” in your system, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired.

In addition, you can get an OWI in Michigan for operating a vehicle while “under the influence” of alcohol, drugs (including marijuana), or a combination of the two. You’re under the influence if your ability to drive is “substantially and materially affected” by the alcohol or drugs you’ve ingested. Even if you aren’t quite under the influence, you can still be convicted of a less serious offense called an OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) if — as the result of the substances you’ve ingested — it would be apparent to an observer that you have “less ability than would an ordinary, careful and prudent driver.”

WHAT IF I’m UNDER THE AGE OF 21?

The Zero Tolerance Law has even tougher guidelines, which makes it illegal for individuals who are younger than 21 to consume alcohol and operate a vehicle. Anyone under age 21 who is determined to have a BAC of more than 0.02% but less than 0.08% may be arrested for OWI under the Zero Tolerance Law. Basically, this applies to any person under the age of 21 determined to have “any bodily alcohol content” with the exception of an occasion on which it can be proven the presence of alcohol resulted from a generally recognized religious service. (While Michigan law says that marijuana is a controlled substance, the Zero Tolerance Law doesn’t apply for drivers that are lawfully allowed to use marijuana under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.)

TYPES OF CHARGES

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) means that because of alcohol or other drugs, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired.
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) includes 3 types of violations:
    • Alcohol or drugs in your body substantially affected your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
    • A bodily alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.08. This level can be determined through a chemical test.
    • High BAC means the alcohol level in your body was at or above 0.17. This level can be determined through a chemical test.
  • Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD) means having even a small trace of these drugs in your body, even if you do not appear to be intoxicated or impaired. This can be determined through a chemical test.
  • Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content (Zero Tolerance) means having a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07, or any presence of alcohol in your body other than alcohol that is consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.

PENALTIES FOR DUI/OWI IN MICHIGAN:

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail Time Up to 93 days 5 days to 1 year or 30 to 90 days community service 30 days to 5 years
Fines & Penalties From $100 to
$500
From $200 to $1,000 From $200 to $1,000
License Suspension Up to 6 months Min. 1 year Min. 1 year
IID** Required? Possible Yes Yes

Lookback Period: 7 years (Period of time that prior OWIs are relevant for sentencing

**Interlock Ignition Device

PENALTY DETAILS:

1st Offense

  • $100 to $500 fine & one or more of the following:
    • Up to 93 days in jail
    • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days
  • Possible vehicle immobilization
  • Possible ignition interlock device
  • Six points added to driving record
  • Driver Responsibility Fee:
    • $1,000 for OWI
    • $500 for OWPD

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating with Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)

  • High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC of .17 or higher). This is one of the operating while intoxicated crimes, but it has harsher consequences.
    • One or more of the following:
      • Up to 180 days in jail
      • $200 to $700 fine
      • Up to 360 hours of community service
    • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year. Eligible for restrictions after 45 days of suspension if an ignition interlock device is installed on all vehicles the offender owns or intends to operate
    • Possible metal license plate confiscation if the offender operates a vehicle without a properly installed ignition interlock device
    • Mandatory vehicle immobilization if the offense is subsequently convicted for operating a vehicle without a properly installed ignition interlock device
    • 6 points added to the offender’s driving record
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000
  • Operating While Visibly Impaired
    • Up to a $300 fine, & one or more of the following:
      • Up to 93 days in jail.
      • Up to 360 hours of community service.
    • Driver’s license restrictions for 90 days (180 days if impaired by a controlled substance).
    • Possible vehicle immobilization.
    • 4 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500.

2nd Offense within 7 Years (any combination):

  • Operating While Intoxicated
    • $200 to $1000 fine, & one or more of the following:
      • 5 days to 1 year in jail.
      • 30 to 90 days of community service
    • Driver’s license revocation & denial for a minimum of 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • 6 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.
  • Operating While Visibly Impaired
    • $200 to $1,000 fine, & one or more of the following:
      • 5 days to 1 year in jail.
      • 30 to 90 days of community service.
    • Driver’s license revocation & denial for a minimum of 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days unless the vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • 4 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500.

3rd Offense Within Lifetime (any combination) is a Felony

  • Operating While Intoxicated
    • $500 to $5,000 fine, & either of the following:
      • 1 to 5 years imprisonment
      • Probation, with 30 days to 1 year in jail.
    • 60 to 180 days community service.
    • Driver’s license revocation & denial if there are 2 convictions within 7 years or 3 convictions within 10 years. The minimum period of revocation & denial is 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization for 1 to 3 years, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Vehicle registration denial.
    • 6 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.
  • Operating While Visibly Impaired
    • $500 to $5,000 fine, & either of the following:
      • 1 to 5 years imprisonment
      • Probation, with 30 days to 1 year in jail.
    • 60 to 180 days community service.
    • Driver’s license revocation & denial if there are 2 convictions within 7 years or 3 convictions within 10 years. The minimum period of revocation & denial is 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization for 1 to 3 years, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Vehicle registration denial.
    • 4 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver Responsibility Fee of $500.

*CLICK HERE for a full list of sanctions & consequences.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Unfortunately, yes: Law in Michigan says that if you’re driving a vehicle, you’ve given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in your blood.

*CLICK HERE for more details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Michigan.

 

Get Help With Your OWI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Oakland County, please reach out to us for help. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI/OWI has serious consequences, especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about Michigan’s laws and about how the system works in your District’s court.

GETTING TO KNOW: Derrick E. George, Esq.

http://legalnews.com/oakland/1442752/

Attorney Derrick George has served hundreds of individuals and business owners from Detroit and Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties, with a broad variety of legal matters, and has won hundreds of cases.

George, a resident of Birmingham, holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from Columbia University, and his law degree from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. While in Colorado, he served as a judicial law clerk for two major judges, and did contract legal work with high-level U.S. Fortune 500 companies. After law school, George returned to Michigan, and opened his private law practice in Birmingham. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

His background in business prior to law school includes management of large investment funds in New York City, and media experience with ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, and 20/20.
By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What would surprise people about your job?
How much skill outside of legal knowledge this job demands. After 10 years of practicing law, I have realized that to really be successful at it I need to be business-minded, act as a consultant, problem solve, be compassionate and sympathize with people, negotiate, act as a liaison between multiple parties, build relationships AND have implicit knowledge of the law.

Why did you become a lawyer?
I already had a graduate degree and was working in commercial real estate development when my dad, who was a business owner, asked me to become a lawyer and offered to help me get through law school. Reason being he felt he couldn’t find an attorney who would consistently have his back and when you own your own business, you are often faced with problems that need to be handled by or with the help of attorneys. That resonated with me. I get it—lawyers are something people don’t want but need, and they should make you feel and prove to you that they believe in you and have your best interests as their primary focus.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book?
I love anything O.J. Simpson trial related. It is so interesting to learn about the strategies the prosecution and defense deployed.

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional?
Johnny Cochran had a lot of flair that you can’t often bring into this profession. So from an entertainment standpoint I like his style. It’s not something I can necessarily implement into my own cases, but he was one of the most creative attorneys I have seen.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
Jimmy Fallon or any Michigan Supreme Court justice.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Be the best in whichever school you choose, pass the bar, and start getting the practice. Being successful comes from jumping in and doing it.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
At my first trial, I obtained a “not guilty” verdict after a five-day trial for a 20-year felony my client was incarcerated for.

What do you do to relax?
Catch up on my sleep although that’s hard now that my wife and I have a baby! I love being outside when the weather is warm and when I can spare the time, a vacation is the ultimate way to relax.

What do you wish someone would invent?
I see all these amazing baby things now like electronic swings and strollers and I wouldn’t mind if they came in adult versions.

What other career path might you have chosen?
I have owned successful companies and was adept in the commercial real estate business so I could see either of those continuing if I hadn’t done law.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Stop playing quarters in the alley of the Chinese restaurant.

Favorite local hangouts?
Phoenicia and Bistro Joe’s and Wright and Company are some of my favorites.

Favorite websites?
Amazon, CNN.

Favorite app?
Facebook, Instagram or Avvo to check on my client testimonials—LOL.

Favorite music?
Really anything but country music.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
First family trip to Boyne.

What is your most treasured material possession?
A 1978 vintage Rolex.

What has been your favorite year so far and why?
It has to be 2017. I have a kid now!

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
Maui, Hawaii for two weeks with my wife on our honeymoon. I also traveled extensively to Brazil and China and there are some amazing spots.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
The ability to fly because it would make taking vacations way easier.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
I would like to learn how to sail.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m of Chaldean descent. No one would ever guess because of the red hair. That, and I can quote every line from the Chevy Chase movie “Fletch.”

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Martin Luther King Jr., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jimmy Kimmel

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Don’t lose sight.

Favorite way to spend money?
On travel.

What is your motto?
Learn from the past, plan for the future by focusing on today.

Which living person do you most admire?
Warren Buffett.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
I’m answering this question fresh off of having a baby so I would have to say that, and marrying my wife.

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
I met my wife on October 5 and asked her to marry me on October 31. That seems pretty unusual. Although the more people I tell that story to, the more I learn others have had similar relationship paths. When you know, you know.

What is one of your future goals?
I plan to write a book about my business experiences and share the injustices I have discovered within our not-so-perfect system. After my dad died at age 52, I started a consumer product company right out of law school, with nothing more than an idea and a 10K loan from my grandma at 8 percent interest. I got sued by a Forbes-listed billionaire as a strategy to take out his competition—the billionaire figures you hose the small guy down with legal technicalities and tie them up in court they will eventually go out of business, cheaper than acquiring them and a way around anti-trust law. I figure I must have been doing something right.

http://legalnews.com/oakland/1442752/

 

Get Help With Your DUI/OWI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Oakland County, please reach out to us for help. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI/OWI has serious consequences, especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about Michigan’s laws and about how the system works in your District’s court.

 

Located in Birmingham, Michigan The Law Offices of Derrick E. George, P.C. offers dependable law services to get the best possible outcome for your case. The Law Offices of Derrick E. George, P.C. will help with cases involving a comprehensive array of legal matters and offers experience amassed from years of legal experience and numerous cases. For help in legal matters of Criminal defense, Family Law, or Business Law call attorney Derrick George today. Localities served – Ann Arbor – Auburn Hills – Berkley – Beverly Hills – Birmingham – Bloomfield Hills – Bloomfield Township – Brighton – Canton – Clarkston – Clinton Township – Commerce Township – Davisburg – Dearborn Heights – Farmington – Farmington Hills – Fenton – Ferndale – Franklin – Green Oak Township – Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe Farms – Grosse Pointe Shores – Grosse Pointe Woods – Hamburg – Hartland – Highland – Howell – Keego Harbor – Lake Angelus – Livonia – Lyon Township – Milford – New Hudson – Northville – Novi – Orchard Lake – Pinkney – Pleasant Ridge – Plymouth – Rochester – Rochester Hills – Roseville – Royal Oak – Shelby Township – South Lyon – St. Claire Shores – Sterling Heights – Troy – Utica – Walled Lake – Waterford – West Bloomfield – White Lake – Whitmore Lake – Wixom – Wolverine Lake.

Impaired Driving Law

It is a crime for a driver to have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08 or greater if over age 21 or .002 or greater if under 21. In addition, Michigan has a high-BAC Law with enhanced penalties for anyone caught driving with a BAC of 0.17 or higher. However, drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle.

What is the Michigan Impaired Driving Law?

Drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance and/or cocaine are subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment. The only exception is an individual who has a valid medical marijuana card and is driving with marijuana in his or her system. Under the law, an officer must show they are impaired due to that marijuana.

Get Help With Your DUI/OWI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Oakland County, please reach out to us for help. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI/OWI has serious consequences, especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about Michigan’s laws and about how the system works in your District’s court.

 

Located in Birmingham, Michigan The Law Offices of Derrick E. George, P.C. offers dependable law services to get the best possible outcome for your case. The Law Offices of Derrick E. George, P.C. will help with cases involving a comprehensive array of legal matters and offers experience amassed from years of legal experience and numerous cases. For help in legal matters of Criminal defense, Family Law, or Business Law call attorney Derrick George today. Localities served – Ann Arbor – Auburn Hills – Berkley – Beverly Hills – Birmingham – Bloomfield Hills – Bloomfield Township – Brighton – Canton – Clarkston – Clinton Township – Commerce Township – Davisburg – Dearborn Heights – Farmington – Farmington Hills – Fenton – Ferndale – Franklin – Green Oak Township – Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe Farms – Grosse Pointe Shores – Grosse Pointe Woods – Hamburg – Hartland – Highland – Howell – Keego Harbor – Lake Angelus – Livonia – Lyon Township – Milford – New Hudson – Northville – Novi – Orchard Lake – Pinkney – Pleasant Ridge – Plymouth – Rochester – Rochester Hills – Roseville – Royal Oak – Shelby Township – South Lyon – St. Claire Shores – Sterling Heights – Troy – Utica – Walled Lake – Waterford – West Bloomfield – White Lake – Whitmore Lake – Wixom – Wolverine Lake.