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-Ross W. Albers,Proven DUI Attorney

The Difference Between a Preliminary Breath Test vs. Chemical Breath Test

Category: Maryland DUI,Maryland DWI
August 10, 2016

Many Maryland residents do not understand the difference between a Preliminary Breath Test vs. Chemical Breath Test.

Preliminary Breath Test vs. Chemical Breath Test

In Maryland, if you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI, the police officer will request for you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Such tests are used to determine whether or not a person is driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. If the driver is unable to pass the field sobriety tests, then the police officer may request you to take a preliminary breath test.

A preliminary breath test (PBT) is taken at the scene of the initial police stop. The police officer will use a handheld device to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is above the legal limit, then the police officer will have probable cause to arrest you.

Upon arrest you will be taken down to the police station where you will be offered the breathalyzer test.

Preliminary Breath Test vs. Chemical Breath Test

A chemical breath test, also known as the breathalyzer, is the second test administered after the PBT.  The driver will be taken to the nearest police precinct to take a chemical test. This test is a chemical test used to determine your BAC.

Some drivers are confused as to whether to take a chemical test. If a driver took a PBT, then they assume a chemical test is not necessary and refuse to take one. This may result in the suspension of their driver’s license.

One of the main differences is that a chemical breath test is deemed more reliable than a PBT and is admissible in court.

Under Maryland’s Implied Consent laws, drivers impliedly consent to taking a chemical breathalyzer test.  Refusal to take a PBT has no effect on your privilege to drive in Maryland. However, if a driver refuses to consent to a chemical breath test, then their driver’s license will be suspended for 120 days, or they will have to enter the interlock program for one year.

Schedule a free Maryland DUI Lawyer consultation

Maryland DUI Attorney Ross W. Albers offers a free consultation to explain and review your Maryland DUI arrest. During your free consultation, the Law Office of Ross W. Albers will review the facts, charges, MVA consequences and possible criminal penalties of your Maryland DUI case.

The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.  Maryland DWI Lawyer Ross W. Albers was selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.

Contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers today to schedule a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

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