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How can police use a roadside breath test?

On Behalf of | Nov 4, 2022 | DWI

People who are pulled over for the suspicion of drunk driving will likely be asked to take a field sobriety test. The police officer may also opt to ask for a roadside breath test so they can try to determine your blood alcohol concentration. The goal of all this is to determine if the person is impaired enough to warrant an arrest for drunk driving.

The breath test machine that officers use during a traffic stop has some limitations when it comes to the criminal justice system. The officer can use the result to show probable cause for the arrest, but that’s the limit. The results of a preliminary alcohol screening device aren’t admissible in court. 

How is BAC proved in court?

If a person’s result on the PAS device is higher than the legal limit, they will usually take another test on a device that’s not portable. Larger, more precise machines are housed in police departments or jails. The alternative is to take a chemical test that uses urine or blood, which is often done at a hospital or medical center. 

Regardless of which breath test device is used, it must be properly calibrated in order to be as accurate as possible. Challenging the calibration of the stationary testing machine is sometimes a component of a criminal defense strategy. 

Anyone who’s facing drunk driving charges should ensure they understand the charges against them. If you’re the defendant, you should ensure that you know your options for your defense strategy. Some of the options you have might be time-sensitive so be sure you don’t waste time.