In most DUI cases, the officers will ask you to take a field breath test, also known as a P.A.S. test (preliminary alcohol screening). The portable hand held test is mandatory if you are under 21 or on probation for a driving under the influence or wet reckless. Refusal can result in a DMV administrative suspension for one year, even if you take the official chemical test at the jail or police station. If you are 21 or over and not on DUI probation, then the P.A.S test is optional.
The P.A.S. equipment is not maintained and calibrated by the San Diego Crime Lab but by the local law enforcement agencies. To be admissible it needs to be shown that the device was in proper working order, the test was properly administered and the operator was competent and qualified. The biggest obstacle for admissibility is the foundation that the machine was in proper working order which must be testified to by the maintenance and calibration officer along with the maintenance and calibration logs. Many times these individuals and logs are not subpoenaed for DMV Hearings, especially for the under 21s zero tolerance. If there is another test, then it is not needed. Failure to follow test regulations as outlined in California Title 17 may keep the P.A.S result from being used in Court. However, if everything was done properly a P.A.S. test may be admissible.
If your blood alcohol (B.A.) level is rising, a P.A.S. test may show that if the later official test is higher, if you are a falling B.A. because you drank over 30 -45 mintes ago, you should not take the field test beacuse your B.A. is falling the longer you wait and a higher one in the field would not be helpful. With over 30 years experience, DUI lawyers like Nicholas and William Christoph at Christoph Law Offices will try to use your results to your best advantage after carefully reviewing their admissibility. Call 760-670-3885 for a free consultation.