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Preliminary Alcohol Screening in Anaheim

In Anaheim as in other cities in California, a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test is used by law enforcement to measure a driver’s blood alcohol level. The device used to take these measurements is usually a breathalyzer and usually gives instant measurements.

The PAS test will often determine whether the officer will let you go or whether they will arrest you or ask you to take further tests.

If the PAS test indicates that you have a BAC of .01% or more, then the officer will suspend your license by giving you a temporary driver’s license in exchange for yours if they think that you can safely get home. After thirty days, it will go into effect. However, if the PAS test indicates that your BAC is 0.08% or higher, then you will immediately be arrested.

If you refuse to take the PAS test, then your license will be suspended, regardless of the results. Anyone who has a driver’s license, and therefore, signed the necessary forms, has given their consent to testing to see if they are under the influence while operating a motor vehicle.

Similarities and difference between a PAS test and other sobriety tests

In Anaheim, a DUI stop will usually include two separate and distinct breath tests. These two tests are the PAS test and a chemical test. Both tests are breathalyzer tests.

It can sometimes be confusing to know whether or not you should provide a sample for both or either test. The key distinction is in when the DUI arrest is made.

After a DUI stop but before an arrest, an officer may request a suspected impaired driver to perform a field sobriety test. These include the one-leg stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and the walk-and-turn test.

If at this point (before an arrest is made) an officer requests for a breathalyzer test then this is a field sobriety test or a PAS test. Like other field sobriety tests, the PAS test is optional and the officer must make this clear to the suspected impaired driver.

If you are arrested because an officer has the necessary probable cause whether through the PAS test or any other information, then California’s Implied Consent Laws kick in. In other words, after you have been arrested lawfully for a DUI, you are deemed to have already given consent to provide a chemical test following the DUI. The chemical test can be a blood test or a breath test and you have to choose one or the other. If you refuse, your driver license will be suspended for 1 year – not to mention other complications and restrictions you could face from the DMV.

This is a tricky system to navigate. Having the advice of a competent DUI attorney during this whole process can help to mitigate the situation and produce a much better outcome for you. If you are facing DUI charges, we strongly encourage you to contact our Law Office as soon as possible so we can begin fighting your DUI.

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