PBT Not Admissible

Gary S Bernstein

While sitting in Howard County last week before my trial, a scrum broke out in court over the admissibility of a PBT result during sentencing.  The judge asked my opinion and I explained to her that it is only admissible at the Office of Administrative Hearings on the issue of reasonable grounds.  I was able to pull up the case for the judge and the prosecutor who both took a break to read it before my trial started.  There was a PBT in my case but my client was found not guilty so the State did not attempt to use it.  Sentencing is part of a “court” procedure and the law and the case from our appellate court clearly stats it cannot be brought up.  The prosecutor wanted to use it at sentencing in another case involving a guilty plea to show the judge how drunk the defendant was.  He believed he was only prohibited from using it at trial.

I do not know how many lawyers do not know the law and let him tell a judge on previous occasions of the result, but I think that problem is over now.