They Want to Smell You

It’s night. You are traveling down Woodward in Birmingham. There is no other traffic near and you change lanes. Then there are flashing lights behind you.
Under Michigan law, when you change lanes you need to signal. It does not matter if there is no one behind you or not. The police are looking for any excuse to pull you over, Why? Because they want to smell you. The police are looking to see if they can smell alcohol or marijuana and if they do, you will be asked to step out of your vehicle and perform Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).

According to our Supreme Court, just the smell of alcohol gives the police “reasonable suspicion” to administer FSTs and if you fail one of these tests, the officer now has probable cause to ask you to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test, (PBT). If you refuse, it is a civil infraction and a $100 fine. But more importantly, the officer will take you to the station and ask you to perform a Datamaster breath test. If you refuse that test, you will lose your license for a year.

The best advise is not to drink and drive. But, if you have had a couple drinks and drive, obey all the rules and don’t give the police a reason to pull you over. If you are charged with drunk driving, it will be the most expensive drink you ever had.