With respect to the preliminary breath test (PBT), a police officer may arrest a person based in whole or in part on PBT results. The PBT cannot be admitted into the trial in the case in chief. However, PBT results are admissible in criminal prosecutions or administrative hearings under three circumstances:
- The test results may be admitted to assist the court or hearing officer in determining a challenge to the validity of an arrest.
- At trial, the defendant may offer the PBT result as evidence of his or her BrAC to rebut testimony elicited on cross-examination of a defense witness that the defendant’s BrAC was higher at the time of the charged offense than when a chemical test was administered.
- At trial, the prosecution may introduce PBT results as evidence of the defendant’s BrAC only to rebut testimony elicited on cross-examination of a prosecution witness that is offered or elicited to prove that the defendant’s BrAC was lower at the time of the charged offense than when the chemical test was later administered (the rising blood or breath alcohol content defense).