Preliminary Breath Test

Maryland Preliminary Breath Test & DUI

Most Americans are familiar with the breath alcohol test that police officers may give to those who are involved in DUI traffic stops. The “breathalyzer” machine has gotten a lot of public attention since its unveiling as a powerful tool to get drunk drivers off of the road.

However, not all drivers know about how this device is commonly used and how Maryland state law covers its use.

Police officers who stop drivers, either in a traffic stop scenario or as part of a routine DUI checkpoint operation, may ask for a breath alcohol test. Drivers are familiar with this practice, and many of them will voluntarily take the breath alcohol test at the roadside as well as perform a number of field sobriety tests. What a closer look at the law shows is that, in many cases, neither of these are mandatory. According to some legal opinions and resources, the driver has a right to refuse field sobriety tests under state laws. The driver can also refuse the breath alcohol test at the roadside. The roadside test is considered a “preliminary breath test” or PBT. The real test occurs when the driver is taken to a local police station, and most DUI lawyers agree that this breath test is not optional.

Drivers who are experienced in terms of Maryland DUI law understand the critical distinction between the roadside breath test and the one that is done at the police station. Some drivers may feel that they are making their case easier by “helping out” law enforcement in accepting a PBT. The fact is that, in some cases, going along with a PBT or field sobriety testing is helping local law enforcement make a case against you. In many situations, just going along with standard operating procedure is not going to be in a driver’s best interests.

The Bowie DUI defense lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help drivers understand the details of DUI law, and can evaluate a case to see if police made any errors in acceptable protocol at the time of the traffic stop or arrest. Andrew D. Alpert has received specific training on defending DUI cases and DUI related issues, is certified to own and operate several breath testing instruments and is a certified breath alcohol technician. For more information on how Andrew Alpert can help defend you against DUI charges, contact Alpert Schreyer, LLC today at (301) 262-7005 or (866) 444-6363.