Glendale Preliminary Alcohol Screening Tests
During the Glendale DUI Process, a DUI suspect may provide breath samples using two different monitoring devices, the stationary Breathalyzer machine which is used for breath testing at the police or sheriff's station as well as the portable Preliminary Alcohol Screening ("PAS") device, which nearly all officers carry while in the field. The PAS device is much smaller and can be used to support an officer’s decision to arrest a DUI suspect. However, the PAS test is generally considered to be less reliable than the Breathalyzer and in most cases cannot be used as the sole basis for DUI prosecution.
Because it was designed to be small, light-weight and portable, the PAS device is susceptible to external conditions such as temperature, weather and even how the officer holds the unit. For many years, the results of the PAS test were not allowed to be introduced in court as evidence in a defendant's DUI case. PAS test results could only be used to show if a DUI defendant had alcohol in his or her system, and could not be used as evidence of a specific BAC reading. Courts today now allow PAS results to be used against DUI defendants if certain conditions are met. Specifically, newer PAS devices are equipped with small printers and are known as Evidential PAS ("E-PAS") devices. The E-PAS device can immediately print out the PAS results and this printout can be used as evidence in some cases.
Many drivers are surprised to learn that taking the PAS test is not mandatory for most DUI suspects in Glendale. Drivers who are under the age of 21 or who are already on DUI probation are required to submit to a PAS test upon request. However, all other drivers can legally refuse the PAS test. Many officers do not tell DUI suspects that the PAS test is not mandatory, and some actually tell drivers that failure to submit to breath testing on the PAS device would result in an automatic license suspension. This is simply not the case.
The only drivers who must submit to the PAS test are those who are under 21 and those on DUI probation. For these drivers, driving with any amount of alcohol in their system would be considered a violation of the law. Because alcohol breaks down and becomes undetectable over the passage of time, those with low BACs at the time of driving may show results of a zero BAC when tested hours later at the police station or hospital. Thus, PAS tests taken right at the time of driving may be the only way to show someone drove with a low BAC.
While PAS tests are not mandatory for most drivers, it is important for drivers to remember that taking the PAS test does not satisfy a driver's legal obligation to submit to chemical testing, specifically Glendale breath testing using the Breathalyzer device or Glendale blood testing. This means that a driver who consents to the PAS test but refuses all furthers requests for chemical testing could be charged with DUI pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC and would also be charged with a refusal allegation.
In certain instances, the results of the PAS test can help a DUI defendant in Glendale. If there are significant differences between the results of the PAS test and the results of subsequent chemical testing, a skilled Glendale DUI attorney may be able to challenge the reliability of all testing. In addition, if the PAS test results are lower than those of the subsequent breath or blood test, this can be used to show a rising blood alcohol. Because alcohol is absorbed over time by the body, a person who had just consumed alcohol may be driving with a BAC below 0.08 but may test over the limit hours later. A PAS test can be used to show that this may have occurred and may be used to convince a prosecutor to dismiss or reduce charges. On the other hand, a falling blood alcohol level may show that a driver was more intoxicated than later tests revealed, which may ultimately harm the driver’s case.
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Glendale, it is very important that you consult with a Glendale DUI attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Glendale DUI Attorney Michael Kraut knows how to effectively fight DUI charges. Mr. Kraut is highly regarded by prosecutors, law enforcement and judges in the Glendale area and works hard to ensure his clients receive the best defense possible.
For more information about Glendale PAS tests, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Glendale DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 450 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 600, Glendale, CA 91203. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 818-507-9123.