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Push For PBT

There are usually two separate breath tests used in a Kansas DUI investigation. One is the PBT and the other is the Intoxilyzer. The PBT test is the small portable breath test taken out in the street during the investigation. It is not admissible in trial and is often considered unreliable. The Intoxilyzer (Intoxilyzer 8000 used in Johnson County, KS) is the larger, more intricate breath test machine, which looks like a computer and is conducted at the police station after you are arrested. The result from this test is admissible as evidence in trial and in considered more reliable than the PBT. It is uncontroverted that blood tests are by far the most reliable.

Despite the questionable reliability of the PBT, pushes are being made to make it admissible in Drunk driving cases. The Journal of Forensic Sciences just came out with a new article touting the reliability of the PBT and how it should be admissible in trial. The article states that the PBT devices “add an element of objective assessment for identifying the driver who may have a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) in excess of 0.08 g/210 L…” Kansas prosecutors and district attorneys would LOVE to use the PBT results against a defendant in trial and would cause nightmares for a criminal defense lawyer like myself.