The preliminary alcohol-screening (PAS) test is a hand held breath device used to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels in a person's system. It is one of the most commonly used method for testing BAC levels in motorists who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Evidence of a person's BAC obtained by the PAS test is often the strongest form of evidence law enforcement officers and prosecutors use to convict individuals of driving under the influence.
If you are under the age of 21, are pulled over, and a law enforcement officer believes that you have been drinking any amount of alcohol, the officer will likely ask you to take a PAS test. For those under 21, the PAS test, or any other device that offers comparable readings, is mandatory.
Can You Refuse to take the PAS?
If you are under 21 and refuse to take the PAS test or any other comparable test, you will lose additional driving privileges. If you refuse to take the PAS test, your license will also be automatically suspended for one year. This is because all individuals who receive a driver's license sign an implied consent form. This implied consent states that we give our consent to such testing. Therefore, a refusal would constitute a breaking of the terms of this agreement, which would subject you to penalties.
If you refuse to take a test and are taken into custody, or if you register a BAC of .01% or higher and are taken into custody, your license will be taken and you will be given a temporary driver's license that is valid for thirty days. Keep in mind that as the legal age for drinking alcohol is 21, the state of California has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. If you have any amount of alcohol in your system, you can be prosecuted for driving under the influence, even if you do not feel that the alcohol has impaired your ability to drive.
Although California's DUI laws are strict when it comes to under 21 drivers, DUI charges can be fought and they can be beaten. PAS tests are considered the gold standard for BAC testing, but they are not infallible. In fact, many in the legal industry have questioned and successfully challenged the results of these tests for their accuracy. PAS devices that have not had routine calibration and maintenance, for example, can produce inaccurate results. As such, you should never feel as if there is nothing you can do when charged with a DUI and you should always take the steps needed to work with an experienced attorney. If you or your loved one is under 21 and have been charged with driving under the influence, allow a Riverside DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Thomas Wallin to review your case and help you explore your defense options. Take swift action to protect your record, driving privileges, and future.