Breathalyzer Tests Skewed by Mouth Alcohol
Intelligent and Innovative DUI Attorneys in Bakersfield
The science behind breathalyzer tests requires that the intricate devices
be sensitive to the slightest amount of alcohol. Otherwise, it would never
be able to get any sort of reading from just a single puff of your breath.
The downside of this is that a breathalyzer can be overly sensitive or
sensitive to the wrong things, picking up a millionth of an ounce of alcohol in your
mouth and presenting that reading as the content in your blood instead.
This is very significant because it is not illegal to have alcohol or alcohol
fumes in your stomach or mouth; what the law actually prohibits is a certain
amount of alcohol
in your bloodstream. When you are drinking, most of the alcohol goes directly into your stomach
and then into the liver and intestines where your body's enzymes break
down the alcohol, effectively eliminating it from your body. Some of that
alcohol escapes the enzymes, however, and diffuses into your bloodstream.
This is the alcohol that the breathalyzers are supposed to test, but they often
pick up additional alcohol from fumes in your mouth or esophagus or from
particles of food lodged in your teeth. These and many other factors can
result in an artificially-high reading.
At Campbell Whitten, our Bakersfield DUI lawyers understand that law enforcement
and highway patrol officers might not be aware of how misrepresentative
a breathalyzer can be in regards to your actual intoxication. Ultimately,
this can lead to unjust driving under the influence (DUI) charges and some people just plead guilty to the charges and are sentenced
to jail, probation, fines and more - not realizing that they had a winning
defense to their case.
If you are ready to stand up for your rights with a team that comes in
swinging, contact us
Understanding How Mouth Alcohol Can Affect Reported BAC Levels
A breathalyzer aims to only read the alcohol in the microscopic specks
of your blood in your breath, but it, of course, cannot do just that with
perfect precision. Any remnants of an alcoholic beverage in your mouth
can release minuscule droplets that the device will cling onto and falsely
read as a high concentration in your system. This means that you could
potentially have one drink with your friends, drive them home while being
well below the legal limit, and still get arrested due to a breathalyzer reading
that claims your BAC is over 0.08%.
Simple actions or activities that can sharply escalate your BAC level due
to alcohol present in your mouth include:
- Swishing a beverage between your teeth
- Recently consuming food
When everything that can tamper with a breathalyzer result is taken into
consideration, the results are less-than-reliable.
15-Minute Observation Period
Before administering a breathalyzer test due to suspicion of a DUI, law
enforcement officers are required by the California Code of Regulations
to go through a
15-minute observation period. During this time, they are supposed to ensure you do not do anything
that could throw off their breathalyzer devices, such as any of the aforementioned
actions. One issue is that many breathalyzer tests actually take place
back at the law enforcement station, meaning the arrestee will likely
have been in the backseat of a car for quite some time, making it impossible
for the officer to truly observe the person sufficiently.
Call 661.735.1038 Today for a Team That Rises to All Challenges
Your rights and your future are not things that can be taken lightly, and
they certainly should not be put into jeopardy due to highly unreliable
breathalyzer tests. At Campbell Whitten, we have committed our practice
to improving the lives of our clients through powerful and aggressive
defense in all manner of DUI cases. When our Bakersfield DUI attorneys
work together and see your case from every angle, we are confident that
we can give the prosecution a run for their money, fighting for a reduction
of the charges, if not a total dismissal.
Want to know what a team that has handled thousands of cases can do for
you? Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation
with us today!