What is the PAS test?
The preliminary alcohol-screening (PAS) test is used by law enforcement to measure your blood alcohol level. The PAS device is a hand-held breath-testing unit that gives an instant and accurate measure of your blood alcohol concentration.
I've been drinking and get stopped. What then?
If you are under 21 and the officer believes you've been drinking, you will be given a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test. It doesn't matter how much alcohol the officer thinks you have had (or you tell him/her how much you have had), if the officer believes you've been drinking any amount of alcohol, you must take a PAS test. If a PAS testing device in not available, you would have to take another type of chemical test like a breath or a blood test. If you refused or didn't complete the PAS (or other chemical) test, you would have additional progressive driving privilege revocations.
What happens if the test results are positive?
If your PAS test (or other chemical test) shows a BAC of 0.01% or higher, the officer will take away your driver license and give you a temporary driver license (if he/she feels you can get yourself home safely). The officer will tell you "your driver license is going to be suspended." The suspension will go into effect in 30 days.
Let's say you drank significantly more than in the case above. This is what's going to happen. Say your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you will be arrested. You won't get a temporary license because you won't need it. You won't be driving yourself home. Your car will be impounded and you'll have to call somebody to bail you out of jail. Not something you want to do. Remember, this is going to stay on your driving record for 10 years.
Don't forget - It is against the law for you to drink any type of alcoholic beverage if you are under 21 years of age.
After your PAS test (or other chemical test), the officer will complete a DMV form. The form is called the "Administrative Per Se Suspension/ Revocation Order and Temporary License." This form tells you about upcoming driving privilege suspensions. It gives you information about requesting a DMV hearing. You will get a copy of the completed form. You may have to go to court. The court may also impose fines and penalties. Don't forget you still have to deal with your parents, too.
What do I do with the Order of Suspension and Temporary License the peace officer gave me?
Read the information on the Order very thoroughly. It contains a temporary driver license. You can drive with this temporary license for 30 days from the date it was given to you. That is if you are not already suspended or revoked for another action. The Order also has information concerning the reason you are going to be suspended, in addition to:
- important information about a DMV hearing, if you want one.
- eligibility requirements for a "critical need" restricted license.
What if I refuse to take the PAS (or any other chemical) test?
Don't do it! Your license will be suspended for one year! When you signed your application for a driver license and/or identification card, you agreed to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood when required by a peace officer. In fact, any person who drives a car is deemed to have given his/her consent to this testing. (Vehicle Code § 23612). This is called "implied consent." If you hadn't signed your driver license application agreeing to "implied consent," you would not have been issued a driver license.
What would happen if I didn't take the PAS (or any other chemical) test?
If you refused or didn't complete the PAS (or other chemical) test, you would have additional progressive driving privilege revocations if you are arrested for this DUI offense.
- Your first offense will result in a one-year suspension.
- A second offense within 10 years will result in a 2-year revocation.
- A third or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a 3-year revocation.
How long will I be suspended for a DUI?
Well, because you are under 21 and if you took the PAS (or other chemical) test and the results showed .01% BAC or more, your driving privilege will be suspended for 1 year.
If you are under 21 and you did not take the PAS (or other chemical) test, your driving privilege will be suspended for 1 year.
If you want more information about being arrested for DUI, go to Arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI): General Information.
Should I request a DMV hearing?
If, for some reason, you think your suspension is not justified, you can request a DMV hearing. Think about this part carefully. If you were drinking and driving and your BAC is .01 or more, a hearing is not going to stop your suspension. But if you really want a hearing, be sure to read your Order of Suspension and Temporary License very carefully. There is a time limit for requesting a hearing, so if you want one, don't wait.