Being stopped for allegedly driving under the influence is already frustrating, embarrassing, and a little scary. But you may also be concerned about the results of your sobriety test. What if you’re over the legal limit? Many people reason that if they refuse a sobriety test, there won’t be any results to be used against them.
But can you lose your license if you refuse a sobriety test? Unfortunately, you could face penalties for refusing, even if you were under the legal limit after all. Here’s what happens when you refuse a sobriety test in Michigan.
When you get your drivers license, you give implied consent. That means, by having a license, you consent to be tested if a police officer suspects you’re operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. If you refuse to consent, your license can be taken away, even if this is your first offense.
Worse, you may be tested at the police station anyway. They won’t let you drive away if you refuse a sobriety test. If you refuse, that could mean a suspended license and another test that shows you were over the legal limit anyway.
If you refuse to take a sobriety test, you could face harsh penalties separate from any penalties associated with an operating while intoxicated (OWI) conviction. Michigan residents can face a license suspension of one year for refusing their sobriety test.
You may also receive six points on your license for failing to take the test, which can impact your license over time. These points can last for years, and if you accrue too many, you may face longer license suspensions, fines, and even jail time for your driving points. These penalties can even affect your insurance, leaving you paying higher rates or losing your car insurance coverage.
Because of this, it’s better to take your sobriety test now, even if you’re sure you’ve had too much alcohol before driving. While the field sobriety test results may be used against you, accepting the sobriety test won’t lead to an automatic license suspension or other penalties.
That means you and your OWI lawyer can better focus on your defense. Your lawyer may be able to get your OWI charges dropped, too. They can gather evidence and pinpoint the best defense for your case. They can also represent you in the courtroom, using this information to help you avoid harsh penalties.
When you’re accused of operating a vehicle while under the influence, it can hurt your future. Worse, refusing a sobriety test can make your path to reduced or dismissed charges harder. If you’re concerned about keeping your license after an OWI traffic stop, reach out to the lawyers at Schwartz Law Group. Call 248-930-5019 or fill out the online contact form below.