Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test in LA DUI Cases

February 5, 2016

Alcohol Screening TestUsually, a preliminary alcohol screening test is not used to prove an alcohol level.  In most DUI cases, a DUI driver submits to a breath test or blood test in the station or hospital at the conclusion of Los Angeles DUI investigation.  This chemical test is called, an evidentiary test, because it is used as evidence of blood alcohol level.  In addition to this evidentiary test, and as a part of field sobriety test,  a DUI suspect is asked to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test, that is called, a PAS test.

A preliminary alcohol screening test is done using a portable device, such as Alco-Sensor IV or similar devises.

A preliminary alcohol screening devise can needs to capture about 1.5 L of air to produce a reading.  When a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) devise results are below .08% BAC or the results are consistent with a rising blood alcohol defense, Los Angeles drunk driving attorney will subpoena the officer administering the test and officer maintaining the devise to  introduce the results of the preliminary alcohol screening test into evidence.  The law that explains how to introduce preliminary alcohol screening test comes from Court of Appeals case People v. Adams, a 1976 case which explains how to “lay foundation” for introduction of Preliminary alcohol screening test.  “Foundation” is just a fancy legal word for “requirement”.

The foundation for introduction of the preliminary alcohol screening test consist of 3 things:

(1) Something to show that the machine used was in proper working order.  This is accomplished by requesting that a PAS coordinator, an officer with the agency that hold the devises, testify that he maintains in according to the state law and manufacturing specifications.

(2) Something to show that the test was properly administered.  This is accomplished by having the arresting officer testify that he complied with the law governing administration of the test, such as Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

(3) Something to show that the operator (aka, the DUI officer) was competent and qualified.  This is shown by having a police officer testify about his training.

When there is compliance with these three factors, Los Angeles DUI Attorney or a prosecutor can introduce the PAS devise and use it to prove the blood alcohol level at the time of preliminary alcohol screening.  Without that, the preliminary alcohol screening can not be used for actual value, but can use only to show presence of alcohol in blood.

If preliminary alcohol screening test results are below .08% alcohol in blood, its introduction will help the defense in showing that the driver was below .08%.

Conversely, the prosecution might want to introduce PAS results because they are above .08%, but, your Los Angeles DUI Lawyer may be able to limit introduction of the preliminary alcohol screening because of non compliance with Adams.

Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you win your case.  Los Angeles DUI attorney is an expert in DUI and DUI related charges defense.  We can provide quality representation at affordable price.  We accept all major credit cards and offer payment plans.  Call us (818) 921 7744 to talk to an attorney directly – Los Angeles DUI lawyer is available to work on your case on a minutes notice.

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