Roadside Breath Tests vs. Station Tests in New Jersey
There are two potential tests that a person may be subjected to during a DWI investigation and arrest: the roadside breath test and the station test. These tests are widely different and submitting to or refusing to take either one will have very different consequences.
Roadside Breath Test: PBTs
The roadside breath test is also referred to as a PBT, or portable breath test. It is not intended for use as evidence of impairment. Rather, officers use this test to determine a person’s BAC or blood alcohol content as probable cause to support an arrest.
The PBT is not an accurate test. In fact, it is so unreliable that the Attorney General recently outlawed its usage by the police in Camden County.
You will not face any penalties if you refuse to take a PBT. The results of this test cannot be used as evidence in your DWI case.
The Official Test: Alcotest 7110
The Alcotest 7110 is the evidentiary breath test machine used by law enforcement in New Jersey. These tests take place at the police station after a suspect has been placed under arrest.
The officer is required to follow certain protocol when conducting the official state breath test, such as observing you for 20 minutes prior to testing to ensure that no mouth alcohol will contaminate the breath sample.
The results can be used as evidence against you at trial. If you refuse, you will be charged with an implied consent violation.