The handheld device is generally not admissible as evidence of guilt, and it cann ot be considered a refusal for suspension purposes if you decline to take it. However, some officers have taken to reading implied consent warnings at the stop rather than at the station, and then marking a refusal if the driver declines to take a breath test. Needless to say, this can very confusing to the driver. You should set up an attorney consultation asap to go over the particular facts of your circumstances.
This answer provides general information and, apart from the encouragement to hire an attorney, is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. You should always seek the help of an attorney who can provide accurate, reliable, legal advice after reviewing the specific facts of your issue.
It depends on whether the officer suspected drugs or alcohol. If the suspicion was drugs then the PBT (roadside test) is only required to be offered as part of the 12 step DRE protocol and its refusal could transition directly to a search warrant. If the suspicion was alcohol then the Implied Consent Warning needs to be read prior and the breath test refused before the warrant is sought (both from the DOL and criminal perspective). Generally a Judge will not authorize a Search Warrant in a case where alcohol is suspected unless the officer affirmatively states in the warrant that following the Implied Consent Warning being read, that the individual then refused.
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