Approved Screening Devices
Is it reasonable to expect that you have alcohol in your body? That is all that it is necessary an officer to believe in order to demand that you supply a suitable sample of breath for an approved screening device. What happens to you after the analysis depends on the reading.
An approved screening device is a small instrument containing a fuel cell. The driver being tested blows into a mouthpiece while the ASD senses. When it is satisfied that it will obtain a sample of deep lung air the ASD sends a measured sample of breath to the fuel cell which creates an electric current. The current is proportional to the alcohol on the driver's breath and a reading is given to the officer.
One model the police currently use gives one of three types of reading, the number in milligrams percent up to 50, the word warn for 50 to 100 and the word fail for 100 and above. It is as accurate as the breathalyzer and the entire test from instruction of the driver to final analysis takes less than a minute.
If you are a driver in the Graduated Licensing Program, a numeric reading will mean a 12 hour prohibition, but no sanction is taken against a non-GLP driver. A warn reading means a 24 hour prohibition for any driver, and a fail gives the officer reasonable and probable grounds to demand breath samples in support of a driving over 80 charge under the Criminal Code.
Refusing to supply a suitable sample of breath for the ASD at the roadside carries the same penalty as an impaired driving conviction or for refusing to provide a breath sample for testing at the Detachment.