Know This Before Taking a Preliminary Breath Test in Michigan

Sarissa Montague

Imagine you were at the bar, had several drinks and now you are driving home.  You feel like you are driving ok, but all of a sudden you see blue and red lights flashing in your rearview mirror.  You pull over and law enforcement begins a drunk driving investigation. Ultimately, you are asked to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).  Do you agree or should you refuse?

There are significant potential consequences that can arise depending on your decision regarding whether to submit to the PBT. Initially, the current state of the law in Michigan is that refusing to submit to a PBT can result in a civil infraction with six points added to your driving record. However, if you take the PBT and your breath sample has a blood alcohol content greater than .08, you will likely be arrested for drunk driving. You could also be arrested for drunk driving if you don’t submit to the PBT. This is a hard decision and one that you should carefully consider.

The PBT is not the only test that a person suspected of drunk driving is asked to submit. Michigan also has a law, called Implied Consent law, which means that all persons driving on Michigan roads are presumed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test if asked to take one by law enforcement. The chemical test can consist of a breath test on a DataMaster machine, a blood draw or a urine test. If a person refuses to submit to a chemical test, that person’s driving privileges will be suspended by the Secretary of State for a period of one year, regardless of whether he/she is ever convicted of drunk driving.

The decision of whether to blow or not to blow into a PBT is complicated. Understanding the issues and potential consequences of each option, particularly in light of that individual’s life circumstances, is important when determining what one should do.

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you understand your rights while navigating the court system. Having an experienced DUI attorney is important. At Levine & Levine, our team of attorneys has over 40 years of experience in defending criminal cases associated with drunk driving and impaired driving. Contact us today: (269) 218-8880

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