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Dentures May Affect a Breath Test Reading

One of the ways that a defense attorney can claim that their client cannot be found guilty of driving under the influence is by exposing problems with a BAC test. Breathalyzers, often given at the scene when an officer pulls over a driver, do not always provide the most accurate results. If the defense can show that the breathalyzer gave a bad reading, then it creates doubt that the driver was under the influence at all.

Mouth Alcohol Can Cause Higher Breath Test Readings

Breathalyzers work by using an infrared light that is then absorbed by alcohol in the mouth. When less light is able to pass through the chamber of the breath test, the reading will appear higher. However, not all alcohol in the mouth is caused by consuming alcoholic beverages.

One of the ways that a breathalyzer can provide a higher BAC reading is if the driver was wearing dentures. Dentures in a person's mouth can collect alcohol and food residue. Food residue can trap even more alcohol by absorption. If a breath test is given, this residual alcohol can cause the breath test to show a different BAC reading than is accurate.

Since the legal limit for driving is under .08, dentures may be able to push the reading to .08 or higher. This .01 can make the difference between a legal driver and one that is arrested for driving under the influence.

Mouth alcohol, residual alcohol trapped in the mouth, doesn't necessarily mean that the driver consumed alcohol that evening. Mouth alcohol can result from cough medicine or mouthwash. Some breath tests claim that they can determine between mouth alcohol and alcohol from the lungs, but this has been disputed many times in the court.

Our firm understands that breath tests can be unreliable and can work with you to reduce or eliminate charges leveled against you.

If you or a loved one wear dentures and have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, speak with an experienced DUI attorney at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law