If you have recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Omaha you likely already know that you are facing serious judicial and non-judicial consequences should you be convicted of the charges. Often, the strongest evidence against a defendant is the blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, level that was recorded when the defendant took a breath test. What if the breath test results were skewed though? Many factors can cause the results of a breath test to be inaccurate. Mouth alcohol is one of those factors.
Mouth alcohol, as the term implies, refers to the presence of alcohol in your mouth itself. To understand why this matters you must understand how a Breathalyzer, or breath test, works. A Breathalyzer is a machine that measures the amount of alcohol in a suspects breath by testing the air expired by the suspect when the suspect blows into the machine. The machine is supposed to be testing the air that is found in your lungs. The machine then uses a complex formula that translates that level into an overall breath alcohol concentration, or BAC, level that is expressed as a percentage. In Omaha, it is a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC over 0.08 percent. The legal limit is lower if you hold a commercial driver’s license or you are under the legal drinking age.
When mouth alcohol is present, the mouth alcohol can mix with the alcohol found in your lungs, producing a false high percentage. Depending on the amount of mouth alcohol in your mouth at the time the test is conducted, the test result can be significantly higher than what your BAC really is. Mouth alcohol occurs whenever anything has recently been in your mouth that produces alcohol. Some obvious culprits include mouthwash or breath spray; however, there are a number of other substances that can also cause mouth alcohol that you may not even realize produce alcohol, such as:
- Chewing tobacco
- Cold medication
- Metal from dental work or piercings
- Dental caps and bridges
- Acid reflux or GERD
- Vomit or hiccups
DUI Defense in Omaha
If you have been charged with DUI in Omaha and you believe that your breath test results were skewed because of the presence of mouth alcohol, consult with an experienced Omaha DUI attorney as soon as possible. Contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to learn more about DUI defense in Omaha and for a free case evaluation.