Breathalyzer tests are seen as the be all and end all in DUI cases. Police officers use it as a “definitive” factor in determining whether or not a driver is inebriated and will often rely solely on breathalyzer test results for a conviction. Meanwhile, DUI suspects tend to believe that a breathalyzer test reading over 0.08% is enough to land them in handcuffs, facing severe criminal penalties. However, this is not completely true. Breathalyzer devices used by Florida law enforcement offices are inherently faulty and your biological make-up has more to do with your test results than you think.
If you’ve been arrested for blowing over the legal limit in a breathalyzer test, reach out to the DUI defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm. We’re aware that mouth alcohol has a significant effect on breathalyzer test readings which often result in charges for individuals who were completely sober. Our team can investigate the details of your case, make you aware of applicable defense strategies, and serve as your legal counsel throughout all proceedings.
A common misconception of breathalyzer tests is that they’re used to gauge your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when in all actuality, that can only be determined from a blood sample. Breathalyzer tests aren’t nearly as accurate as blood samples as their purpose is, instead, to read the alcohol content of deep lung air. The highest concentration of alcohol in our lungs is in the alveoli, which are sacs deep in our lungs that inflate and deflate when we breathe in and out.
The breathalyzer uses a formula that multiplies the amount of alcohol in your lungs by 2,100. This is known as the partition ratio and rests on the assumption that 2100mL of breath contains the same amount of alcohol as 1 mL of blood. The National Safety Council’s Committee for Tests on Intoxication settled on this figure more than 40 years ago, but modern research has proven how inaccurate it can be.
The mouth alcohol defense rests on the fact that while a breathalyzer is designed to gage deep lung air, residual mouth alcohol is often measured as well which often results in an inaccurate reading. Prosecutors often argue that mouth alcohol can result from the consumption of an alcoholic beverage, which is true. However, there are numerous external factors that can make an otherwise sober person blow over 0.08% in a breathalyzer test.
One common factor involves those who have had any kind of dental work done, including:
Alcohol can easily become trapped in the dental work and result in someone who may have had a drink earlier in the day retaining that alcohol in their mouth and blowing that same alcohol into a breathalyzer. Some other common sources of mouth alcohol excluding alcoholic beverages include:
Law enforcement has set procedures they must follow to avoid the possibility of any external factors interfering with a breathalyzer test. This often includes providing a 20-minute observation period and asking specific questions. However, police officers too often go outside the confinements of the law to make DUI arrests of innocent people. Ensure that your rights are protected by securing legal representation from seasoned attorneys.
The Orlando mouth alcohol defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have successfully had many DUI charges dismissed as a result of inaccurate breath test results. Our team consists of former state and local prosecutors who have a thorough understanding of how the prosecution will pursue a DUI conviction. Allow our Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers to use our more than 100 years of combined experience to your benefit. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys