DUI Breath Tests

Breathalyzer Test

If not excluded by a suppression motion, DUI breath tests can be one of the most damaging pieces of police evidence that your DUI prosecutor use in your drunk driving trial. Almost all 50 states allow officers to use portable breath test machines, also known as PBT (portable breath test) devices or preliminary breath test devices. DUI police task forces use handheld breath testers such as an Alco-Sensor or Intoximeter device to quickly find out your approximate level of impairment.

In some states, these devices can be equipped with a printer, and the results may be used in your DUI trial, but this is not true in most jurisdictions.

The official name for your impairment level is called your “blood alcohol content,” or “BAC.” Your BAC is a calculation based on amount of alcohol present in your system at the time of that “reading.” In all 50 states you can be arrested for drunk driving even if your blood alcohol content is lower than 0.08% grams percent. So, because virtually every state’s DUI laws make these roadside tests OPTIONAL and VOLUNTARY, you should politely decline to take the breath test on a PBT.

This blood alcohol concentration drops to 0.02% for drivers under 21 years old, and you will be arrested for underage DUI plus other serious criminal charges such as possession of
alcohol by a minor.

CDL Drivers – Special Rules

CDL DUI Lawyer

Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard. Having ANY measurable alcohol on a breath test will result in your truck being “embargoed,” or taken off the road. You cannot get behind the wheel for 24 hours. So, you either miss your scheduled delivery, or your company sends out a new driver to take over.

If you hold a CDL license and are driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated, you will be arrested for commercial DUI if your BAC is 0.04% or higher. Without your plastic CDL license, you will also very likely be fired from your commercial driving job.

Handheld Breath Test Numeric Results Cannot Be Used As Evidence In Most States

The numeric “readings” from portable breath tests, also known as PBT results, typically cannot be submitted as evidence at your DUI-DWI trial. The evidential breath testing devices at the police precinct, the jail, or in some mobile breath alcohol vans are stationary machines that are supposed to be periodically inspected and checked for calibration.

Intoxilyzer 9000 image

The printed results of these official breath machines can be used by the
prosecutor to obtain a drunk driving conviction. Skilled DUI attorneys will first try to exclude the breath test results entirely. Your DUI lawyer will file a pretrial motion to suppress illegally seized evidence, such as breath test results, blood test results, urine test results, and possibly other police evidence


Never be intimidated by the government’s case against you. Mistakes happen during all phases of a DUI arrest, and breath test numeric results can be tossed out of your DUI case. This opens the door for a dismissal, reduction, or an acquittal.

Breath Test Machine - DUILawyer.Info