Can an officer Breath Test me for no reason?

 An officer pulls you over for speeding.  He asks for your license, insurance, and registration.  He goes back to his car and discovers, after a computer check, the license is flagged as an "alcohol restricted driver" because you have a prior DUI or alcohol violation.  The officer has no reason to believe that you have been drinking other than the flag on the license.  Because of the "scarlet letter" on your license, he decides that he is going to see if you have consumed alcohol.  He gets out and sticks a preliminary breath tester in your mouth.  Can he do this based on the sole reason your license is flagged?

I fought this battle last month in Salt Lake.  The officer admitted he smelled no alcohol, saw no signs of impairment, and the only reason for the PBT test was because of the flag on the license.  The judge ruled that the officer went beyond the scope of the initial detention and had no reason to expand the search and scope of the detention by given the driver a PBT test.

This behavior is becoming more common with police officers.  They are not allowed to go on a fishing expedition.  Contact a good DUI attorney if this happens to you.

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Posted in Utah DUI Laws

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