Preliminary Breath Test (PBT)

What is a Preliminary Breath Test PBT?

If you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Michigan, the police officer may ask you to take a Preliminary Breath Test more commonly referred to as a PBT.

A PBT is a small handheld device that is used to measure the amount of alcohol contained in your breath to determine your breath alcohol content (BrAC). The test is administered when a person exhales into a straw that is attached to the PBT. If your BAC is at or above the legal limit of .08 in Michigan, you will most likely be arrested for drunk driving.

Once you are arrested for DUI / OWI, you will be taken to the police station and an evidentiary chemical breath test will be administered with a DataMaster machine. Your BrAC at the time of the evidentiary breath test will be what appears on your ticket for drunk driving.

Can I Refuse the Preliminary Breath Test PBT?

Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, when you applied for a driver’s license, you agreed in advance to comply with requests by law enforcement officers to take chemical tests to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system if you are stopped and arrested for suspected drunk or drugged driving. The implied consent law does not extend to PBTs.

Refusal to submit to a PBT is a civil infraction punishable by a fine.

In virtually every instance, if you are stopped by a police officer who requests that you submit to a PBT, you should politely refuse. Michigan law permits a police officer to arrest solely on the basis of the PBT results. So that means, even if you show no signs of intoxication you can be arrested based upon the PBT results alone.

EVIDENTIAL BREATH TEST

If you are arrested for drunk driving, you may be asked to submit to an evidential breath test.

Whether you take the Preliminary Breath Test PBT or not, you are still required to take the evidential breath test required by the implied consent law. Refusal to take the evidential test may result in the following:

  • Six points will be added to your driving record.

  • Your license will be suspended for 1 year if it is the first time you refused to take the test under the Implied Consent law.

  • Your license will be suspended for 2 years if you refused to take the test one or more times within the preceding 7 years.

There are no hardship appeals in circuit court for a restricted license in this situation.

ARE THE RESULTS OF A PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST PBT ADMISSIBLE IN COURT?

The results of a Preliminary Breath Test are not admissible in court for the purposes of establishing your BrAC. However, they are admissible to determine whether there was probable cause for the drunk driving arrest and in several other limited contexts.

CAN I CHALLENGE THE PENALTIES IMPOSED UNDER THE IMPLIED CONSENT LAW?

If you receive a Report of Refusal under the Implied Consent Law, you have fourteen (14) days to request a hearing with the Secretary of State. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney to appear with you at the time of the hearing and challenge the validity of the Report of Refusal.

HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DRUNK DRIVING LAWYER REGARDING YOUR PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST (PBT) REFUSAL

If you’re facing a Michigan Implied Consent Law implied consent refusal issue, you should immediately consult with experienced drunk driving OWI / DUI attorney to discuss your case. Please submit the specifics of your case on-line or call Edward Earl Duke directly at 248-409-0484.

Click Here to Contact Edward Earl Duke

Our Location

180 High Oak, Suite 205

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

(248) 409-0484

Summary
Preliminary Breath Test PBT
Article Name
Preliminary Breath Test PBT
Description
Experienced drunk driving attorney Edward Duke explains what a Preliminary Breath Test PBT is and what your rights are if you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving.
Author
Duke Law Group