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useful PBT

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September 21, 2004, 09:25
useful PBT
Finally found a use for the PBT. Last night in preparation for the implimentation of our DWI search warrant program to draw blood in refusal cases, I asked several officers to drink and demostrate the FST's to all non-laywer magistrates in the county. The program went well with the HGN clues matching the PBT readings as the intoxication level rose. The judges were able to see, first hand, how the HGN is an accurate indicator of intoxication and now feel more comfortable relying on that information in the application for the search warrant in addition to the other tests.
We are set to impliment the program this weekend.
Question, both theoretical and practical...Can a PBT reading be included in an application for a warrant to draw blood in a DWI case? I think it could be, but from a practical standpoint would you want to? Or skip the PBT entirely?
Refusals still running above 50%.
September 22, 2004, 08:13
Tim Cole
Yes. Probable cause does not have to be admissible evidence. But, you still have all the same problems if you use it. Problem is you can't take back the PBT if it's used so even if you get a blood test you still got the videotape problem. And, since there will obviously be some time delay between the PBT and the blood test, you now will face a problem with different readings, especially if the PBT is not entirely accurate. Why use the PBT if you are going to get a blood test, anyway?