Preliminary Breath Test
Breath testing is one of the most common methods law enforcement officers use to determine if a suspected drunk driver is indeed under the influence. For most drivers, having a blood alcohol content or BAC of .08% or higher will result in a DWI arrest. This threshold is lower for commercial drivers (.04%) and drivers under the age of 21 (0.0%).
It is important to understand that there are two separate breath tests that you may be subjected to during a DWI investigation and arrest: the preliminary breath test and the official state test.
Why Two Tests?
The preliminary breath test, or PBT, is sometimes referred to as the roadside breath test as it is offered during a DWI investigation before an arrest takes place. On the other hand, the state test is administered at the station after you have been arrested.
The PBT: What You Should Know
You may be asked to submit to a PBT; however, you should keep in mind a few key things before you do so:
- It is not required, however a refusal may be used as evidence against you in court
- If you take the test, your results can be used against you in court
- Refusing this test will not affect your drivers license
- It is unlikely that your result will be the deciding factor in the officer’s assessment of whether or not to make an arrest. If he or she has asked for you to submit to the test, it is more than likely that you will be arrested.
The PBT often raises more questions than it answers for most accused drunk drivers. If you have taken the PBT or refused it and are concerned about how your case will be impacted, speak with an experienced DWI attorney right away.