Thursday, March 17, 2011

Can a Portable Breath Test Machine Be Used at Trial in My Bakersfield DUI?

Many DUI Attorneys argue thats since the purpose of the device is limited solely to assist the officer in establishing reasonable cause to arrest, and since reasonable cause to arrest is not an issue in the trial, the numerical results of the test are inadmissible as not relevant. Indeed, many Courts have recognized this principle and observed at that, “The preliminary alcohol screening test is not determinative of blood alcohol content, but is a field sobriety test which may be used as a further investigative tool in order to establish reasonable cause....”(citing Veh. Code, § 23157 (h).) There’s no question that the statutory authority for the PAS is limited for the sole purpose of reasonable cause. Further, one local Bakersfield DUI Lawyer has repeatedly argued that the statute does not authorize the use of the PAS device in every instance. Only if there is 1) a refusal to take FST’s or 2) incapacity to take the other FST’S, or 3) if the officer believes it is necessary to assist him as a further investigatory tool after an evaluation of the totality of the circumstances. In ab recent case in Michigan the court found that where a statute limited admissibility of PAS evidence to establish reasonable cause to arrest, it was error to admit such evidence at trial. In Michigan as in California, reasonable cause to arrest is a matter of law reserved to the court. Since the validity of an arrest is a question which is reserved for judicial officers and is to be decided as a matter of law many in the legal field say they do not believe that the legislature intended under any circumstances, that evidence admissible solely for the limited purpose of PC to arrest in a DUI context.