Evidentiary Breath Test (EBTs)

This blog is a continuation of the drunk driving series from last week’s post.  This week, we will discuss Evidentiary Breath Tests (EBTs).
Again, 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.
In Michigan, the Implied Consent Act requires any driver operating a vehicle to consent to a chemical test for blood alcohol content (BAC) if he or she is arrested for certain violations.
Unlike a PBT, which is administered on the roadside with a handheld device, an EBT (DataMaster) is administered at the police station after an individual is arrested.  There are many requirements prior to an officer administering the DataMaster.  For example, an officer is required to read an individual his chemical rights.  Also, prior to administering the DataMaster, an officer is required to observe the individual for at least fifteen minutes.  After the individual blows into the machine, a ticket prints out the breath sample results.
Unlike Preliminary Breath Tests (PBTs) (discussed at length in the last blog post), an individual is required to submit to the DataMaster upon request because of the Implied Consent Act.  If you refuse to submit to the EBT/DataMaster upon request, six points are added to your driving record and there is a mandatory one-year suspension of your driver’s license.  This refusal allegation can be challenged.
After refusal, an officer will give an individual a notice indicating they have fourteen (14) days after the date of notice to request a hearing with the Secretary of State.  This hearing will be discussed in detail in a later blog post.
An individual whose license is suspended has the right to appeal the suspension based on hardship.  This appeal would go to the Circuit Court of the county in which the individual was arrested.  These hardships are very limited and require preparation, filing an appeal with the court, and sworn testimony of the client.  After the court is fully advised of the circumstances of the case, it may grant some limited driving privileges.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a drinking and driving offense, feel free to contact our office.


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