Drunk Driving and OWI Defense

Being arrested for drunk driving should never be taken lightly. Under Michigan law, drivers may be asked to take a roadside breath test and while you may refuse that test, you could still be facing penalties for doing so. It is important for drivers to understand Michigan law enforcement officers use two breath tests. The first, called a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is conducted on the roadside. This test may not be used as evidence against you. Once you have been taken to the police station, you will be asked to submit to a second breath test known as the Datamaster test. This particular test will be used against you in court.

Refusing the Datamaster Test

In some cases, it may be advisable to refuse the Datamaster test. The reason for this is law enforcement will then need to secure a warrant to force you to submit to another chemical test which is typically a blood test. However, in order to obtain this warrant, there would have to be sufficient evidence to present to a judge. In addition, the added time delays could work in your favor.

Fighting OWI Charges

When you contact a criminal defense attorney, they will look at the various facts surrounding your OWI arrest. Some of the factors that will be considered include:

  • Rightful stop – we may be able to challenge your stop if the officer did not have probable cause to stop you. A mere suspicion is not sufficient; the officer would have had to see you driving erratically or violating a traffic law.
  • Fighting test results – blood and breath tests can often be challenged in court. For breath tests, the equipment must be properly calibrated and the operator must be trained to use the equipment. Blood test results may also be challenged if the person is not properly trained or unable to testify as to the results.

Under Michigan law, anyone who has been convicted of an OWI will face additional legal problems if they are facing charges for a second time. You could be facing steep fines, jail time, participation in an alcohol safety course and many hours of community service. If you are facing OWI charges, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who understands Michigan laws.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick G. Gagniuk, P.L.L.C. at (248) 894-5424 for legal help in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties and all other areas of Michigan.