Court Rules: Police Can't Force Minors to Submit to Breath Test if They Weren't Driving

A state court of appeals has ruled that it is unconstitutional for police to force a minor to submit to a breathalyzer test if he or she is not driving. If the police wish to conduct a breathalyzer test, they must get the minor's consent or obtain a valid search warrant.

Although minors suspected of being in possession of alcohol now have the right to refuse a breath test without fear of legal repercussion, police say they often do not need to conduct a breath test, as there is typically enough evidence to justify an arrest.

"Most of the time the evidence is right in their hands. We will offer (the test) but we don't push them to take it, and we don't need it to issue a citation," said Lt. Steve Kempker of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Police claim there are other ways they can determine whether an underage person has been drinking. Blood shot eyes, slurred speech, scent of alcohol on the breath, and staggering are all signs of intoxication.

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers Here to Help You!

If you or your child has been arrested on Minor in Possession charges after submitting to a breathalyzer test, you should consider contacting a Michigan criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman. We have a great deal of criminal defense experience, and have represented many clients throughout Wayne County and Oakland County facing alcohol related charges. Should you retain our services, we can ensure your constitutional rights were not violated, and provide you with the aggressive defense you need to tackle your charges head-on in an effort to get them reduced or dismissed completely.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, please contact a Michigan criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman today!