Point of Arrest Breath Tests in Orange County

DUI defense attorneys in Orange County generally advise their clients that they may legally refuse to submit to a pre-arrest breath test or preliminary alcohol screening device. This is generally good advice as the hand held breath machine is regarded as another field sobriety test rather than a chemical test to accurately determine a breath alcohol level. It is intended to assist the arresting officer in determining whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a DUI arrest. Infact, the police should advise a suspect that the test is a voluntary field sobriety test.

However, in Orange County, police agencies use the hand held breath machine both as a preliminary alcohol screening device and as a chemical test after an arrest. Although a suspect is entitled to refuse a breath test prior to arrest, after an arrest, the arrestee is required by law to submit to either a breath test or a blood test. If the arrestee in Orange county chooses a breath test, he or she may be required to immediately blow into the hand held breath machine at the scene of arrest.

The police must follow the normal breath testing protocols with the hand held breath machine as with the desktop machines used at police stations. This includes regular calibration, proper police training, the taking of duplicate samples with readings within .02 of each other and a continuous observation period of at least fifteen minutes immediately before the breath test.

If you have any questions concerning DUI procedures and defending a DUI in Orange County, please call Orange County DUI Lawyers Gold and Witham for a free consultation.


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