Lawrence Taylor (retired) discusses some of the factors that can distort the alcohol measurement that a Breathalyzer provides and how these factors can lead to a defense for a DUI suspect. There is no certain or set list of defenses for a DUI case, every case is unique and as such, they are defended on a case-by-case basis. There are all types of circumstances that can distort the reading that a breathalyzer provides. This includes everything from having a periodontal disease, which can trap food containing alcohol in your mouth, to spraying a breath freshener into your mouth as you are getting pulled over. This phenomenon is called “mouth alcohol.” Alcohol stays in a person’s mouth for about fifteen minutes after ingesting an alcoholic beverage and can stay even longer if there is something in the mouth, like food, to trap that alcohol. This means that this “mouth alcohol” will be breathed directly from the mouth, not from the lungs, into the breathalyzer. The breathalyzer then multiplies the amount of alcohol it reads by twenty-one hundred times because it assumes that it’s coming through the lungs. In the end, the combination of “mouth alcohol” and the way the breathalyzer multiples the amount of alcohol it detects, leads to inaccurate measurements and, in turn, a defense for a DUI suspect.
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