What is a Portable Breath Test?

What does What is a Portable Breath Test? mean?

What is a portable breath test?

A portable breath test is a device that officers can carry with them when out in the field. It is small enough for them to transport, about the size of a cigarette package, and acts as a way to measure alcohol levels on a person's breath. This tool can help officers determine if an individual is, in fact, intoxicated, whether it be during a possible DWI traffic stop or a possible public intoxication case. Most officers in the field, indeed, have portable breath tests on their person, especially if they are working traffic stops or among the public.

While these portable breath tests are a convenient way to determine if a person is in fact intoxicated, they are not the most reliable. Sometimes, the results of a portable breath test can be disputed in court by the defense. Sometimes the devices do not read alcohol levels properly, due to misreadings of alcohol amounts from a person's breath only. Studies have shown that blood tests are much more accurate when measuring alcohol levels in comparison to portable breath tests.

Because of this, portable breath tests are not approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to use in criminal prosecutions, or to use for any administrative license revocation proceedings. To avoid false or inaccurate breath test readings, an individual can refuse to take a portable breath test and request a blood test at the police station instead.

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