PAS Tests vs Chemical Tests
According to the US Department of Transportation, three people are killed every two hours due to an alcohol-related highway collision. Over half of all fatal highway car crashes are alcohol-related, accounting for 13,365 deaths in the year 2010 alone. There are dozens of consequences to driving under the influence of alcohol that go way beyond jail time. It is no wonder law enforcement officers watch for drunk drivers like hawks, eager to protect drivers from such risky behavior.
Trained to recognize over 100 visual cues for drunk driving, police officers administer a series of tests to determine if in fact a driver is driving with an elevated BAC, or blood alcohol concentration. Today, all 50 states consider a BAC of 0.08% to be the legal limit. Anything higher results in license suspension and arrest. To find out what your BAC is, the cops use both a PAS test and a chemical test.
PAS, or Preliminary Alcohol Screening, is the initial roadside test. This type of test is often associated with a breathalyzer, or a handheld unit that gives an instant and fairly accurate measure of a driver’s BAC. It is a type of chemical test that comes with the roadside sobriety toolkit police officers are obligated to have with them when they are on duty. It is a simple test to take on the side of the road, but it is not as accurate as a chemical test like a blood or urine sample.
A PAS test can provide false results that vary up to 15% from the driver’s actual BAC. Because of this downfall, it is not recognized by the court system. The hand-held breathalyzer device is used as a means to affirm suspicion of driving under the influence. With field sobriety tests, undergoing the test is technically optional. If you refuse to take the field sobriety test you will be forced to take a chemical breath test at the police station after having your license confiscated by the officer who pulled you over.
Chemical tests for blood alcohol concentration are performed at the local precinct and are of the highest accuracy with the blood test being the most accurate of them all. You may also be subject to a standing breathalyzer test or a urine sample. While the breathalyzer at the police station tests for alcohol content in the same way, the environmental factors that may have influenced the false positive on the side of the road are minimized, making this a more accurate version of the field sobriety test. Any of these three tests are considered accurate enough and will be recognized by the court during your hearing.
For a DUI lawyer in Tacoma, Washington to handle your DUI, call (253) 312-6122 today.