St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Preliminary Breath Test Results Are Admissible Beyond Drunk Driving Cases

Drunk Driving Cases

The Michigan Court of Appeals has established that preliminary breath test results are now admissible as state’s evidence in cases not limited to drunk driving offenses. A handgun possession violation led to the ruling in the court after Oakland District Court has ruled the evidence inadmissible.

PBT Evidence Used in Handgun Violation

A DUI lawyer in St. Joseph such as the highly reputable lawyers at Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC help defendants who have been charged with crimes related to intoxication while operating a vehicle. Previously, the PBT results were limited to driving offenses. However, an occasion involving a handgun set a new precedent for cases in Michigan. A PBT administered to a suspect with a concealed weapon license was allowed as evidence and proved intoxication of the defendant.

The case in question involved unusual circumstances. Police had responded to a burglary call when they became aware of a couple sitting in the back seat of a parked car. When open alcohol containers were spotted inside the vehicle, officers asked the occupants to step outside. At that moment, one of the two informed the officers he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The officers administered a PBT and it was revealed he was intoxicated. He was subsequently charged with handgun possession under the influence.

Other Uses of PBT Evidence

PBT evidence is no longer limited to cases involving a vehicle. Blood alcohol levels may exceed the legal limit the morning after excessive intake, and a failed PBT may impact the employment and handgun license of the individual in question.

Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful or unreasonable searches and seizures apply in cases of this nature. An attorney skilled in Fourth Amendment law can help defendants who believe their rights have been violated with respect to breath tests, blood tests and other types of evidence collected by law enforcement. Without a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side, these protections may be run over in court.

Contact the experts at Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC when you need help with a driving offense or unreasonable search and seizure complaint. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit

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