Preliminary Breath Test - PBT
A Preliminary Breath Test, sometimes referred to as a PBT, is commonly used by Kansas law enforcement at the scene, during a DUI investigation. This is different than the larger, more sohisticated breathalyzer which is generally located at the police station. After FTS's, the officer uses the PBT to further confirm the intoxication, by estimating blood alcohol content (BAC), to then make the arrest. The driver blows into a PBT machine, revealing if alcohol is detected on the breath.
PBT Suppression Issues
- Lack of Consent. Recently, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled for a suppression of blood results because the arrest was based on PBT results which were invalidly obtained. The PBT was illegally obtained due to the officer providing wholly incorrect notices to the DUI defendant, and therefore the Court ruled that there was not actual consent. Without the PBT results, there was then inadequate probable cause to arrest the DUI suspect and therefore no legal means of obtaining a blood draw to test for blood alcohol content.
- Lack of Reasonable Suspicion. While the PBT is generally administered subsequent to the field sobriety tests, it can actually be administered prior to the tests. In any event, there must be reasonable suspicion before the PBT is to be legally administered. The Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled that the officer is to use the totality of the circumstances. In other words, if a drunk driving suspect passes all the field sobriety tests, the officer should take that into consideration when determining whether there is reasonable suspicion in order to request a PBT.
Failure to properly administer the PBT. Although law enforcement officers must wait 15 to 20 minutes before administering this test, they often fail to comply. This can lead to suppression of the PBT results, which can be very important when the judge determines whether there was probable cause to make an arrest. This is important because if there was a lack of probable cause (PC), the results of the actual Intoxilyzer 8000later administered to the Defendant, may be suppressed.
The PBT results are not generally admissible in court during a DUI trial as the PBT instruments are not that scientifically reliable. However, it can be admissible if the Defendant challenges. Thus, as a criminal defense lawyer representing a client in a DUI case, I will sometimes stipulate to the PBT to prevent it from coming in. This is different from the larger Intoxilyzer instrument, often administered at the police station. The Intoxilyzer 8000 breath testis deemed more reliable by courts, and is admissible unless the criminal defense attorney can find a way to prevent this evidence from coming into trial, via a suppression motion or otherwise. Blood Testsare the most reliable form of testing blood alcohol concentration.
Kansas Law Enforcement is supposed to use only PBT devices approved through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
Approved Manufacturer Model List of PBTs for Kansas Law Enforcement
Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corp.
CMI, Inc. Intoxilyzer 300
CMI, Inc Intoxilyzer 400
CMI, Inc. Intoxilyzer S-D2
CMI, Inc. Intoxilyzer S-D5
Draeger Safety, Inc. Alcotest 6510
Draeger Safety, Inc. Alcotest 6810
Draeger Safety, Inc. Breathalyzer 7410
Guth Laboratories, Inc. WAT89EC-1
Guth Laboratories, Inc. Alcotector BAC-100
Intoximeters, Inc. Alco-Sensor
Intoximeters, Inc. Alco-Sensor III
Intoximeters, Inc. Alco-Sensor Digital
Intoximeters, Inc. Alco-Sensor IV Digital
Alco-Sensor IV Pass-Warn-Fail
Intoximeters, Inc. Alco-Sensor FST
Lifeloc Technologies, Inc. FC10
Lifeloc Technologies, Inc. FC10Plus
Lifeloc Technologies, Inc. FC20
Lifeloc Technologies, Inc. PBA 3000
Sound-Off, Inc. AlcoData
If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced drunk dirivng defense attorney at our law firm now. We strive to be the best lawyers possible. We regularly litigate in Overland Park,
Lenexa, Leawood, Shawnee, and
Johnson County, KS.