There is a reason police across Michigan often go the extra mile to keep drunk drivers off the road. Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year across the United States, according to the NHTSA. In Michigan, more than 1,000 people have died in drunk driving crashes from 2015-2018.
Can I be arrested merely on suspicion?
Police often increase their patrols and efforts to crack down on drunk driving during holiday periods and during the summer months. These are the times when people are more likely to drink. Sometimes, police become too aggressive and begin targeting anyone who happens to be on the road.
Police often become aggressive when they:
- Follow drivers for long periods of time, even as far as a driver's home
- Pull drivers over because of a "hunch"
- Pull drivers over for the smallest infractions
- Make errors in judgment
If a police officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving, you may be pulled over, asked a series of questions, and even administered a roadside breath test. Even without adequate evidence, it is possible that you could be arrested and charged.
An arrest may be made due to:
- A statement you made to an officer: Whatever you tell an officer at the time of a traffic stop can be used against you both during the traffic stop and in the courtroom. It's best to refrain from answering any questions an officer has and practice your right to remain silent. There are no legal consequences for remaining silent.
- A failed roadside breath test: If an officer administers a preliminary breath test, you must take it. Otherwise, you could face a fine of $150. While a preliminary breath test may be used to make an arrest, it may not provide solid evidence in court. Breathalyzers aren't always accurate.
What can happen if I'm arrested?
It's important to understand that an arrest is not an end-game. Your trial is where the conviction happens. After your arrest, you may be booked at the nearest police station and administered a breath test, blood test or urine test. If you refuse to take any of these tests, you could face six points added to your driver's license and license suspension for up to one year, under Michigan's implied consent law.
Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Michigan DUI defense attorney, you can fight the charges. The tactics used by police to stop and arrest you can be challenged in court. The chemical test results can also be found inadmissible.
Hiring the right DUI defense lawyer could mean a difference between freedom and jail time, fines, and years of legal consequences. If you were arrested and charged with DUI, contact Manley & Manley to find out how our law firm can help you.