While you may already be aware that law enforcement officials have an array of devices at their disposal for measuring the amount of alcohol in your blood stream, you may not be aware that—during DUI related incidents—officials use these various devices quite differently, at different times, and for different purposes. Furthermore, while you may believe you don’t have a pressing need to understand the differences among these devices (to the extent that a DUI criminal defense attorney might), even having at least a cursory knowledge of these devices and their appropriate uses can help your cause in ways you didn’t even know.
To explain, if you’ve been pulled-over or if you’ve been stopped at a DUI checkpoint and an officer suspects you’ve driving under the influence, then he or she will more than likely administer a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) or Preliminary Breath Testing (PBT). A PAS or a PBT are usually smaller, portable devices that provide law enforcement officials a relatively reliable indication as to whether or not an individual has been driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Despite their usefulness, however, these preliminary tests typically do not provide officers with enough evidence to make a DUI charge yield a conviction. As such, after transporting suspected individuals to a nearby station, law enforcement officials then administer another more accurate test generally referred to as an Evidential Blood/Breath Alcohol Test (EBAT). The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment explains that Colorado law enforcement officials use EBAT devices to determine breath alcohol content. These devices are usually much larger than the PAS or PBTs, and the measurements they take typically provide enough evidence to convict DUI suspects. They work by measuring an individual’s breath-alcohol content, expressed in grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, and an example of an EBAT device in Colorado is the Intoxilyzer 5000EN.
Based on the above description, you may be thinking that an EBAT is the “end all, be all,” so to speak, when it comes to blood/breath alcohol testing. However, devices of all kinds can malfunction. Furthermore, officers can sometimes fail to properly maintain these devices—resulting in errors—or they may even administer them correctly. As such, if you’ve been charged with a DUI or DUI per se, you should go ahead and get in touch with Colorado DUI criminal defense attorney without delay. A qualified professional has the resources and experience with regard to these devices to make sure you don’t receive a conviction you don’t deserve!