The theory behind the breath test machine is that it should test air that comes from the lungs and only the lungs, in order to be accurate. The machine tries to prevent accepting a reading that comes from alcohol in the mouth instead of alcohol from the lungs. But its ability to distinguish mouth alcohol from lung alcohol is limited if the person did drink some amount of alcohol and thus has some alcohol coming from their lungs. In these cases, mouth alcohol can severely distort the result and make it seem like the person drank much more than they actually did.
The law tries to protect people from these inaccurate results by making officers check a person's mouth and/or ask a person if they have anything in their mouth. Then, an officer is supposed to watch a person carefully for 15 minutes before they take the breath test to be sure the person does not burp, belch, vomit, smoke or place any foreign objects in the mouth. But even if an officer follows these rules conscientiously, alcohol could still end up in the mouth at the time of the breath test, because the officer may not have the ability observe what is happening in the person's body / mouth.
Some possible causes of alcohol in the mouth include:
Because the breath test is testing for small amounts of alcohol in the breath, even a small amount of mouth alcohol showing up in the reading can have a big effect. It is important to describe the events leading up to your arrest and the breath test to a DUI attorney in detail to determine if you may have a mouth alcohol defense. We at Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. can defend you from DUI charges if you believe that mouth alcohol led to an inaccurate breath test reading.
Our firm is proud to have more than 30 combined years of experience in defending individuals accused of DUI. Over the years, we have had the chance to address the most complex cases. We are not timid in challenging evidence, including police testimony, in order to safeguard the rights of our clients. We will do everything ethically possible to secure the most favorable outcome possible.
Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. is here to listen, so don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call us today for a free case evaluation.