Unlike many states throughout the U.S., it is illegal for law enforcement in Michigan to conduct sobriety checkpoints. The decision was made at the state level, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling amid the 1990 case Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz.
But just because sobriety checkpoints are illegal in Michigan doesn’t mean that police don’t conduct periodic and random stops while looking for DUI suspects.
Should you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know that you have legal options that could prevent an inconvenient situation from turning into something far worse.
What you’re required to do when stopped for suspicion of DUI in Michigan
If you have been pulled over by police, staying calm and complying can only help you. Just know that police typically become suspicious of any movements you make or where you place your hands. It’s best to roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel until the police officer approaches your vehicle.
An officer will likely ask for your driver’s license and registration. You must provide both.
If the officer has any reason to believe that you are driving impaired, you may be administered a field sobriety test. Depending on the results of a field sobriety test, an officer may follow up with a breath test. Failure to take PBT's is a civil infraction with a $150.00 fine. Failure to take breath, blood, or urine test after said request under implied consent equals 6 points on the driver's license and 1 year license suspension.
What you’re not required to do when stopped for suspicion of DUI in Michigan
While reviewing your driver’s license and registration, an officer may ask how much you’ve had to drink, where you’re coming from, or where you’re going. These questions are meant to provide clues that you may be driving impaired. For example, if you tell an officer that you only had a couple drinks, or are coming from bar, this may open up another can of worms that could make matters worse.
You are not required to answer any questions asked by a police officer. In addition, you are not required to give consent to a search of your vehicle or persons.
However, police may proceed with a search of your vehicle if they have probable cause to believe that you broke law, you have been placed under arrest, or if they see illegal contraband in plain sight.
If a traffic stop escalates to this point, you have the right to legal counsel. Attorney Michael P. Manley has the legal knowledge and courtroom experience fighting DUI charges. He can defendants make sure they are treated fairly in the justice system.
In the event of an arrest, you will be allowed one phone call. You can call our law office at 810-238-0500 to get started. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you may contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.