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What Happens If I Refuse a Breath or Blood Test Following a DUI Arrest in Ann Arbor?

By Daniel T. Geherin

For the last 25+ years, when my phone rings in the middle of the night, this is the most common question I get asked from clients who have been arrested for drunk driving:

 “Should I refuse the breath or blood test?”

There is no quick or easy answer to this question.  If a driver refuses the roadside, preliminary test offered by the police officer (called a Preliminary Breath Test, or PBT), the consequence is typically a civil infraction and fine.  However, if a driver refuses the “official” breath test at the police station (called a DataMaster Test), the consequence is typically an “Implied Consent Violation” which can result in a 1-year license suspension.  The same holds true for a Blood Test; a refusal can trigger a lengthy license suspension. 

Often, the driver feels he/she has a legitimate reason to refuse: distrust of the fairness of the breath tests; threats or improper treatment by the arresting officer; legal questions about the admissibility of the test; medical issues; etc. If the driver exercises his/her right to refuse, there still might be an Implied Consent Violation and potential license suspension. And, believe it or not, sometimes the officer will even charge a driver with a refusal if the machine does not register a sufficient sample despite the driver’s best efforts!

If a driver refuses a DataMaster or Blood test (or is alleged to have refused such a test), he/she will have to request a hearing at the Michigan Secretary of State within 14 days of that refusal. A failure to do so will often result in a mandatory 1-year suspension. If a hearing is scheduled, the arresting officer(s) will have to appear and testify about the circumstances of the arrest. The driver’s attorney will be able to cross-examine the officers and present a defense to the Secretary of State Hearing Judge.  Having an attorney with decades of verifiable courtroom and Secretary of State experience will help navigate the legal red tape and might help preserve your driver’s license following an alleged refusal of the breath or blood tests.

For 25+ years, Attorney Dan Geherin has helped clients who have refused a breath or blood test following a DUI Arrest in and around Ann Arbor.  The Geherin Law Group PLLC (GLGMichigan) is a local criminal justice firm based in Ann Arbor that specializes in defense of DUI/OWI cases. Dan is a former prosecutor who has helped thousands of clients with DUI cases in and around Ann Arbor. Approximately 50% of his workconsists of drunk driving defense. 

Dan is a driver’s license specialist.  Dan has been recognized by his peers as an expert in driver’s license restoration cases. He has an unparalleled 20-year track record of restoring licenses for drivers all over the State of Michigan, and he has close to a 98% success rate in appeal hearings at the Secretary of State Administrative Hearing Section. For years, he has taught other attorneys on how to navigate the red tape of the Secretary of State, and has been a lecturer, author, and moderator at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) regarding license appeals.        

To help determine the best DUI Attorney in Ann Arbor, be sure to ask these questions:

“Are you also a driver’s license specialist, or just a criminal attorney?”

“How often do you conduct Implied Consent hearings?”

“If I need you to go to Circuit Court with me for a license appeal, what is your experience and success rate in those proceedings?”

If the answers to these questions don’t reassure you, please call GLGMichigan. Dan will happily discuss his DUI training and litigation experience with you. He will pinpoint exactly what driver’s license sanctions you might be facing.  And, he will form a plan that gives youpersonal options, personal results, and personal justice following a DUI arrest in Ann Arbor—even if that arrest involved a refusal of the breath or blood test.    

If you are looking for an attorney with extensive license experience following a DUI Arrest in Ann Arbor, please consider calling Dan Geherin, a DUI attorney in Ann Arbor at GLGMichigan. We can be reached 24/7 at (734) 263-2780, or via email  We offer free telephone or office consultations, and we would be happy to discuss why we believe we are the perfect firm to help answer your license refusal questions and help get you back on the road.