Saturday, January 18, 2020


When it comes to the Driving while under the Influence investigative process for Law Enforcement Officers operating in the field there are a variety of steps required and I have covered a good general overview of them all to this point, there are a few more aspects that are required and the punishments associated with Driving under the Influence to review though. Hence, the topic of discussion for the day will be focused upon a required action that has to take place when investigating and/or processing a Driving under the Influence incident.

After the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are complete, the courts have decided that all LEOs are required to offer the offender access to a PBT or the Preliminary Breath Tester. The Preliminary Breath Tester is a small device that is calibrated to detect alcohol via the breath of any suspected offender. The use of the Preliminary Breath Tester can be utilized to aid in the probable cause required to arrest the offender in question, however whatever readings that are obtained cannot be utilized in court against the offender.

Think of it as a this for that type of agreement, the Preliminary Breath Tester can be used to assist in establishing the probable cause required for the arrest, but it can’t be used in court against the offender. Get it! Now to be specific, it can’t be used by the prosecution, however if the defendant side (offender) brings the reading from the Preliminary Breath Tester into the scope of the court it becomes fair game for use by both sides.

The Preliminary Breath Test is just another step that is required when processing a Driving under the influence incident. Once the person is in custody, there vehicle is inventoried, then towed, and then the offender is transported to jail for further processing. During the inventory search of the vehicle everything of value is noted on a Tow Certification Sheet, anything illegal found can be utilized against the offender in custody, and the vehicle will be required to be held at the tow yard for a specified timeframe before being released to its owner.

At the jail or station, the next aspect required for processing a Driving under the Influence incident will commence. But that is a discussion for next time, I am choosing to stop here for now. Hope the information is helpful and that if ever given the choice to drive under the influence or take alternative transit home you choose the alternative.

Preliminary Breath Tester? Good? Bad?...