Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

  • Wyoming, MI 49519
  • attorneyshawnhaff@gmail.com
  • 616-438-6719

Breathalyzer Tests

If you have been caught driving drunk and are charged with a DUI, you have probably become familiar with a breathalyzer test.   The breathalyzer is a device that is used to estimate your blood-alcohol level (BAC).  Anytime your BAC is above the legal limit, here in Michigan that means .08, you can expect to be charged with a DUI/OWI, Impaired Driving.

Before 2006, the legal BAC in all 50 states across the country was below .08.   This number means that if an officer gives you a breathalyzer test and you score above .08, you will probably be placed under arrest for DUI/OWI/Impaired driving by the officer.

In Michigan, if you are younger than 21, you are subject to the zero tolerance law.  This means that if your BAC is, for example, .05, you will charged under Michigan’s zero tolerance law.  These laws are designed to discourage underage drinking. If you are charged under Michigan’s zero tolerance law, you need to call Shawn at The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan today at 616-438-6719. The call is free and I will fight to help you keep your license.

When you are pulled over by a police officer, the officer needs to have probable cause to arrest you. This means the officer has valid reason to believe you have committed a crime. A breathalyzer test is a test designed to give an officer probable cause to arrest you.  The breathalyzer test has been approved by the National Traffic Safety Administration.

To complete a breathalyzer test, an officer will ask you to breath into the device. The device tries to find traces of ethanol in your breath. If the test shows your BAC to be above .08, you will be placed under arrest by the officer.

The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan encourages people take voluntarily take the breathalyzer test on a first offense in Michigan.  Many of our clients find that the punishment for refusing to take the test is harsher than the penalties for DUI.  You can lose your license for a year for refusing to take the Breathalyzer Test.

Breathalyzers have errors that your lawyer needs to check for.  Some of these examples are calibration, interfering substances, and mouth alcohol.  If the breathalyzer has not been calibrated in say a year, it may give a false reading. People that are diabetic can have high levels of acetone that a breathalyzer can read as alcohol. Finally, a breathalyzer only traces alcohol in your breath, but no alcohol in your system.

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