If a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you have been driving under the influence, one of the first things they may ask you to do is take a portable breath test (PBT), which is administered at the scene of the traffic stop. The officer will then administer the test by asking you to breathe into a breath device, which will analyze your breath to determine your BAC, or blood alcohol concentration. A blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered legal intoxication and will likely result in an arrest.
Can I say no to a breath test?
Georgia’s implied consent laws require all drivers in the state to take a Breath test if asked to do so by law enforcement. However, you may choose not to comply with the law and instead face an automatic license suspension of at least 12 months. Also, keep in mind that even if you refuse the breath test, you may be required to undergo blood or urine testing if law enforcement obtains a warrant.
Why should I say no to a breath test?
If you have had any alcohol at all recently, it is impossible to know whether you will meet or exceed the legal limit. Your level of intoxication will likely depend on several factors, including your gender, size and the amount of food you have eaten. You cannot assume that you are under the legal limit based on how intoxicated you feel.
Additionally, breath tests often yield inaccurate results. It is very possible that even after just one or two drinks, the device will show that you have exceeded the legal limit.
Even if the breath test shows a BAC of less than 0.08, you could still get arrested based on other factors, such as field sobriety test results and the officer’s personal observations of your behavior. However, breath test results can be a key piece of evidence against you and make the prosecution’s job much easier.
Whether you have taken a Breath test or refused one, a criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI charges and defenses can help.