Portable Breath Testing Device
If you were pulled over and suspected of an Ohio DUI, you were probably asked to blow into the hand-held breathalyzer known as the PBT, the preliminary (or portable) breath tester. People are familiar with this device and often think that the machines are accurate ways of calculating sobriety. But the truth is that the PBT can give inaccurately high readings, causing the police to believe you are intoxicated when you are not.
These machines typically work by measuring the chemical reaction of the alcohol in your breath with a fuel cell. But a wide variety of conditions can cause these sensitive machines to give an inaccurate result. Things like the ambient temperature, the temperature of the machine, residual mouth alcohol, the last time you consumed alcohol, and more can cause a higher-than-accurate reading.
In fact, these machines are so unreliable that their results are not admissible in court. The police may be allowed to testify that the machine detected the presence of alcohol, but they are not allowed to testify about the specific BAC level the machine gave. Ohio courts do not allow the PBT test to be relied on for anything more than detecting that alcohol was present.
Under Ohio law, you are never required to submit to a PBT test when you are being investigated for an Ohio DUI. You will not suffer any penalties or lose your license if you refuse to submit to this test. In this way, the PBT is just another type of field sobriety test.
It is always safest to request to speak to your lawyer before answering any questions or submitting to any test (including the PBT) when you are being investigated for an Ohio DUI. If the police officer denies you the chance to consult your lawyer, you should refuse to submit to any test or answer any question. Before you make any decisions, call experienced Columbus DUI attorney Peter Binning today!
If you were stopped for an Ohio DUI investigation, chances are you were asked to blow into a hand-held breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol concentration. This device is known as the preliminary breath tester, or PBT. The law never requires that you submit to this test, and the officer is supposed to inform you that your cooperation is completely voluntary. In fact, the results of the PBT test cannot even be admitted into evidence and used against you.
In some cases, however, the police will choose to take you back to the station to take a breath test. After reading you the Ohio Implied Consent Warning, they will ask that you blow into a larger, desktop machine. This is the evidential breath test machine. While the results of the PBT test cannot be used against you, the results of the evidential breath test machine can and will be used to prosecute you in court.
There are a variety of ways that we can defend you against the results of the evidential breath test machine, but deciding the best defense requires careful evaluation of the details leading up to and including your arrest and breath test. One of the first things we will examine is whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you. If it was found that you were pulled over without probable cause, any evidence gathered as a result of that investigation will not be allowed in court.
Columbus DUI lawyer Peter Binning will carefully evaluate all aspects of your case to decide the best defense against your breath test results. In addition to considering whether there was probable cause, he may consider the legal and scientific defenses before selecting the best position for defending your case.
Being subjected to the evidential breath test machine does not mean that you will be convicted of a DUI, even if you tested over the legal limit. These machines—and the officers that operate them—are not perfect and there are a variety of different defenses we can use to fight your DUI charge. Call Columbus DUI lawyer Peter Binning today for your free, confidential consultation.