When pulled over for a suspected DUI (driving under the influence) in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, the police is expected to perform several sobriety tests on you to determine if you really are intoxicated with alcohol and certain substances. One of these tests is the breathalyzer test, which done by police officers by making the driver breathe or blow into a portable breathalyzer.
As a staple of DUI, breathalyzers are important devices for police officers as the results are almost instantaneous, saving them to interrogate or perform other tests to the suspected DUI offender. Now, through the advancement of technology, the breathalyzer is not exclusive to police enforcers anymore: even ordinary citizens can portables ones for their own. How this is possible and other insights about breathalyzer laws on this post.
Positives and negatives of a personal portable breathalyzer
Just like the ones used by the police, a personal breathalyzer will show the current level of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) through the breath you exhale into the device.
Portable breathalyzers are handy, easy to use, and without elaborate attachments such as wires. Results are also quick. In Nevada, as it is written in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), a person cannot exceed 0.08% on their BAC and this is only for regular cases. If you are driving a commercial vehicle or you are under 21, your BAC level cannot go beyond 0.04% and 0.02% respectively.
If you think you are prone to being drunk, it is best to have a portable breathalyzer for personal use. To ensure that your driving will not turn into a legal nightmare caused by breathalyzer laws, blow into your device for at least five seconds and wait for the result to come up. If it violates the limit set by Nevada then it is best to not drive at all. Know that you should NOT take any drink or food at least 30 minutes before getting inside a vehicle to ensure that the results will more or less be accurate.
Despite this, portable breathalyzers also have negativities that might put you in legal jeopardy. If you happened to have gotten a cheaper breathalyzer, the results might be less reliable. You can go on driving because of faulty results not knowing that you are actually under a heavy influence of alcohol and drugs.
Laws about breathalyzer purchase
It is perfectly legal to have a portable breathalyzer for yourself in Nevada. It is not required but it is recommended to have one just in case.
Now, how much is a portable breathalyzer? It depends. There are direct suppliers or online stores you can purchase from and they all vary in price depending on the quality. However, usually, the breathalyzer cost ranges from $40 to $450.
As we have stated earlier, not every portable breathalyzer will provide accurate results. Still, they can be admissible in court. In the breathalyzer laws of Nevada, there are two separate breathalyzer tests: first is the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) which is taken the moment you are stopped by the police, and the second is the Evidentiary Breath Test (EBT) which is extracted after the arrest and the one that is only accepted in the court as an evidence.
Now even if you have your own personal portable breathalyzer, you cannot argue to a police officer about you breathing into their breathalyzer. You are under Implied Consent Law and cannot tell off the police just because you have results from your portable breathalyzer. You may consult a Las Vegas DUI lawyer for more information.
Refusing a Breathalyzer test
There are still strict laws about breathalyzers that are used by the police. First off, contrary to popular belief, you cannot refuse a breathalyzer test and suffer no consequence. In a sense, yes, you can refuse a breathalyzer test but know this would generate only a probable cause that will give the police more reason to arrest you. Aside from this, the police can take your driver’s license for revocation.
If you believe the breathalyzer the police used on you was the cause of your arrest, you can utilize the following defenses:
- The breathalyzer was not calibrated well or is not working from the get-go
- The police enforcer handled the extraction of results improperly and unethically according to Nevada breathalyzer laws
- There are conditions in your body that causes the BAC level to go higher
- The portable breathalyzer that you have shows that you are not intoxicated (might be a stretch but you can talk to it with your defense attorney)
Breathalyzers could either lead to you being charged or being let go. Having a personal one with you is definitely a smart move and it shows responsibility that any citizen needs to avoid potential penalties. If things, however, take a turn for the worse and you are hit with a DUI charge because of unlawful breathalyzer mechanism or other police misconduct, you need the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to sort everything out and nullify the case against you.