A Breathalyzer is a brand name breath test device often used to test drivers for alcohol during a roadside traffic stop.
If you are suspected of DUI the police may use a breath test, blood test or urine test to find out—but the breath test is by far the most common. And the most well known breath test device is without a doubt the Breathalyzer.
Many people use “Breathalyzer” as a catch-all term for a breath test. It’s not. Breathalyzer is a name brand of device, made by Draeger Safety, one of the largest manufacturers of alcohol breath testing equipment for law enforcement. But there are more than twenty other manufacturers making dozens of approved devices.
A distinguishing feature of the Breathalyzer device is that all models are designed to be portable for roadside use. That means an officer can ask to test you as soon as they pull you over, known as a PAS test. Most people have a right to refuse the PAS test, but if you are under 21 or currently serving probation for DUI you cannot refuse. You must take the test.
If you are arrested, you could also be asked to take a test during processing. The officers may use a Breathalyzer or a different device. At this point all drivers, regardless of age or background, must comply and take the test. Refusing the chemical test after your arrest will bring additional penalties.
Even if a Breathalyzer test shows you are over the legal limit, there are many ways to fight it. A good lawyer can challenge the results of the test.
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