Preliminary Breath Test Will be Offered in Most DUI GA Cases
In Georgia, a person suspected of DUI alcohol is often confronted with TWO breathalyzers by law enforcement officers. The first breath tester is offered at the roadway, and is a portable breath test. These preliminary breath test apparatuses are supposed to be used prior to the arrest for DUI in Georgia.
The objective (in using this breath device) is to estimate a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), as part of the driving under the influence assessment. Refusing breathalyzer screening is 100% acceptable, inasmuch as no Georgia DUI law requires your participation, and is the choice you should make, in Georgia DUI investigations.
Under Georgia DUI laws, these hand-held breathalyzer machines are NOT an “evidential breath alcohol test,” which you will be REQUIRED to take later. The DUI breathalyzer at the roadside is commonly known as a PBT breathalyzer, this preliminary breath test is exactly THAT: an initial screening test, of your breath alcohol level (or BAC levels).
Although most police agencies in GA DUI investigations only request one at the end of all standardized field sobriety tests, other departments (e.g., Cobb County Police) will try to get two breathalyzer readings from the drunk driving suspect, to doubly incriminate you.
This type of police breathalyzer is 100% optional, voluntary and (like all roadside “tests” should be declined — politely. Refusal to take breathalyzer screening tests carries no penalty. Below are two of several types of approved DUI breathalyzer devices used in Georgia. These breathalizers run off a small battery, but are not systematically checked for precision and reliability by the State of Georgia.
Although some police in Georgia tell a person that the breathalyzer results cannot be used against the suspected drunk driver, that is (at best) a HALF truth. The officer CAN and WILL testify at your DUI trial or pretrial motions hearing that your results were POSITIVE (or negative).
If the arresting officer testifies about “positive” breathalyzer readings and this is heard by jurors during a trial, SOME (if not all), will interpret that imprecise and confusing evidence as possible proof of you being drunk. See Mr. Head’s short YouTube video, about why to NOT take a portable breath test.
The second kind of breathalyzer machine is typically only available, AFTER arrest for DUI less safe, at a police station or jail. This is the “required” evidential breathalyzer test under the Georgia implied consent law.
This alcohol breath test machine is periodically checked for calibration by area supervisors, who are Georgia State Patrol officers who have gone to Owensboro, KY to learn how to run a series of quarterly calibration “checks” on the Intoxilyzer 9000.
This evidential breath test device is plugged into the wall. These breathalyzers can be transported to the roadway in “BATmobiles” (breath alcohol testing mobile vans with a power converter, to emulate a wall socket). In Georgia, breathalyzers will be the Intoxilyzer 9000 brand, made by CMI in Owensboro KY.
No other evidential breath test can be used in Georgia for forensic breath tests, starting in 2016. Although every breath alcohol van used in Georgia is smaller and more modest than the monster shown below, see the mammoth BATmobile 8 used in North Carolina, for state-of-the-art DUI-DWI enforcement, particularly for DUI checkpoints where 8 suspects can be simultaneously checked on a breathalyzer.
Call Bubba Head, DUI Lawyer Atlanta, at Our DUI Law Firm in Atlanta GA
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