Elements of the Crime: Refusing a Chemical Test for OWI


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If you have been arrested for OWI, there may be additional sanctions from the Michigan Secretary of State if you refused to take a chemical test to determine your BAC. If the police have alleged that you refused to take a chemical test, you should consult with an attorney to understand your rights and your options in the matter. Below is a summary of the potential consequences from the secretary of state:

Michigan's Law

If arrested for drunk driving in Michigan, you will be required to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC). Under Michigan's Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test. If you refuse a test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for one year. A suspension of a license, or non-resident operating privilege, is automatic for any refusal to submit to the test. This is a separate consequence from any subsequent convictions resulting from the traffic stop. If you are arrested a second time in seven years and again unreasonably refuse the test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license, or non-resident operating privilege, will be suspended for two years. If you refuse to take the test under the Implied Consent Law or if the test shows your BAC is 0.08 or more, your Michigan driver's license will be destroyed by the officer and you will be issued a 625g paper permit to drive until your case is resolved in court.

The Implied Consent suspension may be appealed to the Administrative Hearings Section. The request for hearing must be mailed within 14 days of the date of arrest or your operator's or chauffeur's license and vehicle group designation or operating privilege will be automatically suspended. You are not required to have an attorney at this hearing, but an attorney may represent you if you wish.

See: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8665_9070-21485--,00.html

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