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  • PBTs

    Are there any states where Portable/Preliminary Breath Tests (PBTs) can be used in court?

    In Maryland, I've heard there is a push to make them PC in DUI arrests. Currently, they are only a guide and cannot be used in any court, except if the defense introduces it.

  • #2
    In South Central PA or atleast in my area the word PBT cannot be mentioned during testimony. However, if the defense attorney opens the door with mentioning the PBT I am allowed to walk through the door he opened and mention it along with the reading.

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    • #3
      They can be used as Probable Cause in DUI arrests. They cannot be used as evidence in court unless the defense counsel brings it up first. Its a weird grey area of what is allowed to be used to arrest but not allowed to be mentioned. Generally the reason is because PBTs cannot be checked or calibrated in the same consistent scientific fashion that say breath tests at the station can be. The PBT was offered and available your honor.

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      • #4
        We only use them as evidence of alcohol in breath. If they give a positive result then we take the driver back to the station and do a full breath test. I don't think PBTs were ever designed to be anything more than a preliminary screening device.

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        • #5
          For a DUI no, for other things yes.
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