Michigan OWVI & DUI Lawyers
At Aiello and Associates, our attorneys specialize in defending OWVI cases throughout Southeast Michigan. Our criminal defense team has obtained outstanding results for our clients. If you have been charged with an OWVI or DUI offense, contact us today for a free consultation.
Preliminary Breath Test (PBT)
A preliminary breath test (PBT) is a handheld device which is used to determine whether alcohol was involved from a breath sample. The test is offered by the police officer and is performed at the vehicle. The refusal of a preliminary breath test is a civil infraction and does not involve any separate criminal charges; it also does not involve any loss of your driver’s license. Refusing a PBT may involve a fine up to $150. The penalties for someone under the age of 21 who refuses a PBT involve having two points added to their driving record. Refusal to take a PBT is much less significant than refusing to take the BAC Datamaster test.
BAC Datamaster Test Refusal
The BAC Datamaster is much more significant. The Datamaster involves a machine used to take a chemical test that determines your blood alcohol content (BAC), and the test is performed at the police station. Michigan’s Implied Consent Law considers that all drivers have given their consent to the BAC Datamaster test. A conviction for a Datamaster refusal is separate and distinct from the OWI charge. Penalties involve six points added to driving record and a suspension of your driver’s license depending on the circumstances: a one-year suspension for a first-time refusal and a two-year suspension for refusing a second time.
If you have been charged with a BAC Datamaster refusal, time is of the essence. The police officer will provide you with a document advising you of your rights; on the back of the document you’ll find all the necessary information, as well as a place for you to sign your name and request a hearing with the Secretary of State. You have 14 days to request an administrative hearing to challenge the alleged refusal. The request for an administrative hearing must be sent in writing to the Secretary of State at the following address:
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
DRIVER’S LICENSE APPEAL DIVISION
P.O. BOX 30196
LANSING, MI 48909-7696
At the hearing, it will be determined whether the police officer had probable cause for the initial stop, whether the officer read you your chemical breath rights, whether the officer had probable cause for the arrest, and whether your refusal was reasonable. If you are unsuccessful at this hearing, you can then appeal to the circuit court in front of a judge. The judge can either restore your driver’s license or give you a restricted license.
Our attorneys at Aiello and Associates specialize in helping our clients keep their licenses. One of our attorneys will go with you and represent you during the Secretary of State hearing, giving you a chance to present your side of the story as well as cross-examine the testifying officer. Our attorneys will also handle your entire appeal to the Circuit Court. Obviously, losing your license can be devastating; you need an experienced attorney to ensure that does not happen to you.
For more information or to get your questions answered, contact us online or by calling 586-250-5527 and arrange a free consultation with an experienced attorney.