Preliminary Breath Test

Determining Drunkenness?

The preliminary breath test is the handheld breath test that is given to a driver while still 'in the field'. 

It is a light and portable device that does not have all of the same protections against invalid test results as is present in the breath test machine that is used for evidentiary purposes. 

Unreliable Results

As a consequence, the results of a preliminary breath test are considered by law, to be “inherently unreliable” and the numeric test result is not admissible in any proceeding against a person charged with operating while intoxicated. 

Breathalyzer Determines Drunkenness For Arrest 

However, as ironic as it may be, the officer does use the results to determine whether or not to arrest the person.  An officer can still arrest a person even if the preliminary breath test result comes back under the legal limit.

Have you been arrested or currently under investigation?

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