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Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device/PAS Test.

Prior to an arrest for DUI, a suspect may be “offered” a preliminary alcohol screening device test, or PAS test. This is a breath test performed on a portable, hand held device. It is intended to be a field sobriety test and not an evidential test. The police should advise a suspect that the device is intended as a means to determine whether there is sufficeient evidence to justify an arrest for DUI and, just like other field sobriety tests, it is voluntary. The police should also advise that even if the suspect blows into the device, they would still be obligated to submit to an additional breath or blood test following arrest.

The reality is that the police do not usually give the above advice to a suspect and simply say “blow into this”.

The results of a PAS test are not admissable at a DMV hearing or a jury trial at court unless a proper foundation is made for admissability. This means that testimony should be introduced to show that the machine was working correctly, the officer was properly trained on the machine and that the officer operated the machine properly according to the manufacturers guidelines.

In Orange County, police agencies are allowed to use a hand held breath machine as an evidential test following an arrest. It is therefore common in DUI cases in Orange County to see a person blow into a hand held device both before and after an arrest.

If you have any questions about DUI defense in Los Angeles or Orange County, please call DUI defense law firm, Gold and Witham at 562 938 7771.