Driver's License Q&A: Talk to Lawyer Before Alcohol Test?

Jerry Hopkins heads the Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Division at Hills Law Office and for 30 years worked at the Michigan Secretary of State office overseeing driver’s license litigation. Jerry answers driver’s license questions in this Q&A series reprinted from the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Q: If I’m arrested for drunk driving and asked to take a breath or blood test do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before I decide to take the test or not?

A: No. After being arrested for drunk driving you do not have the right, be it under the Constitution or by case law, to speak to a lawyer before taking a breath or blood test pursuant to the implied consent law.
If you are asked to take a breath / blood test and you ask to be allowed to speak to a lawyer before you make a decision, Michigan case law states that law enforcement should give you a “reasonable opportunity” to speak to a lawyer before you are charged with refusing the breath / blood test. There are no hard and fast rules as to what a reasonable opportunity is so each case will be considered on its own merits.
As a former hearing officer my advice is don’t refuse a breath / blood test just because you did not reach an attorney. If you are charged with refusing a breath / blood test, you only have 14 days to file an appeal or your driving privileges will automatically be suspended. Contact an attorney who specializes in implied consent law cases.

If you have any questions about Michigan’s driver’s license laws or how to restore a suspended or revoked Michigan driver’s license, Contact Hills Law Office today.


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