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 Scott Henry to review your case and
help you explore your defense options. Take swift action to protect your
record, driving privileges, and future.