Should I refuse a roadside Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) when stopped for drinking and driving?
Let’s be clear: this article relates to the roadside preliminary breath test (PBT) that occurs before arrest, not the implied consent chemical test that occurs after arrest (and often at the police station). The implied consent law only applies to the chemical evidentiary test that is taken after an arrest.
Often, when stopping a suspected drunk driver, the police officers will ask the driver to take a preliminary breath test (PBT). This evidentiary test is conducted with a small handheld device. The results of this roadside test are used to provide the police officers with evidence to justify an arrest. However, these results may not be used as evidence in a potential trial.
It is not a criminal offense to refuse a preliminary breath test. Refusing to submit to a roadside preliminary breath test is a civil infraction that carries a potential fine of up to $150, plus potential court costs. With that said, despite what you may think, there are no driver’s license sanctions and no points for refusing this preliminary breath test. No points, no suspension, and no driver’s license sanction. Just a fine for the civil infraction, which is similar to a speeding ticket.
It should be noted that the officer may still arrest you without a PBT, but if there wasn’t enough evidence to justify the arrest a judge may later dismiss the case. You are not required to participate in any of the field sobriety tests either, but we will get to that in a different article.
Michigan DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested, or charged with a DUI related offense, including DUI first, contact attorney Will Nahikian today. Let me fight for your interests in court and help you get on with your life. Call me today at 248-227-1978, or set up a free initial consultation.