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Pas Test (preliminary Alcohol Screening)

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Definition - What does Pas Test (preliminary Alcohol Screening) mean?

Some states allow law enforcement officers, who suspect a driver is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), to take a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS). The PAS machine is a handheld breathing device that gives instant information about a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level after the driver blows into the PAS device.

Officers generally have the authority to detain drivers who they have reasonable cause to believe are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers who are over 21 years of age and are not on probation for a DUI may decline a PAS test. Drivers (over 21 years of age) who refuse to take the test can tell the officer they are refusing to take the PAS test and they wish to contact their DUI lawyer.

In some states (such as California) drivers who are under 21 or on probation for a DUI must perform the PAS test. If you are under the age of 21 and live in the state of California and refuse to take the PAS test you may subject to the following penalties:

  • First DUI offense will result in a one-year license suspension.
  • Second DUI offense (within 10 years) will result in a 2 year license revocation.
  • Third or subsequent DUI offenses within 10 years will result in a 3 year license revocation.

For drivers who are over the age of 21 the PAS test should not be confused with the mandatory blood alcohol test that a driver is required to take after they are arrested for DUI. Refusal to take the mandatory blood alcohol test or failing the blood alcohol test (having a BAC of 0.08% or higher) gives the officer the right to serve a suspension notice to suspend the driver's driving privileges. The officer generally takes possession of the driver's license and issues a temporary license. The temporary license is valid for a set number of days after the date of the arrest. Drivers may challenge their license suspension by requesting an administrative license suspension hearing.

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