Refusal to Take Chemical Test

This blog post is a continuation of the drunk driving series from the last few weeks.  This week, we will discuss what the next step is if an individual refuses to submit to a chemical test.

As a reminder, in the state of Michigan, a person must not operate a vehicle if he or she “has an alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine” or if he or she is under the influence of alcohol.  To be under the influence of alcohol means that because of drinking alcohol, the individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened.

A chemical test is a breath, urine, or blood test administered after the arrest.  If an individual is arrested and refuses to take a chemical test requested by the officer, the officer may seek a warrant to have the individual’s blood drawn.  Once the judge signs the search warrant the officer will present the warrant to a nurse who will draw the blood.  The blood sample is then sent to the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division.

It should be noted that prior to requesting a suspect to take a chemical test, the officer must advise you of your rights regarding chemical testing (please see blog titled “Chemical Rights” for more information).

If you refuse the officer’s request for a chemical test, the officer may submit “refusal” paperwork to the Michigan Secretary of State.  If the officer does this, your driver’s license is in jeopardy.  (Please see my blog titled “Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test” for more information)

A blood test is admissible into evidence if the party who drew the blood can confirm certain facts: the blood sample was taken in a timely manner; the sample was from the individual; the sample was taken by an authorized or licensed individual; the instruments were sterilized; the sample was preserved and labeled; the sample was properly transported; the procedure in withdrawing the sample was proper; and the person supervising the withdrawal is established.

If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, feel free to contact our office with any questions.

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