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Dental Devices and How Mouth Alcohol Affects Your Breath Test

Can dental devices affect your DUI breath test? It turns out, they can. Dental devices like dentures or retainers can affect something called "mouth alcohol." Because DUI breathalyzers test a sample of your breath, the amount of ethanol left behind by alcohol can be stronger if you have a dental device.

Mouth alcohol can actually be a solid defense to be used in your DUI case. When it comes to DUI breath testing, what other type of alcohol is there than mouth alcohol? Breathalyzers actually yield results that are more accurate when they test air that comes from an individual's deep lung region, often referred to as "deep lung air." This is why officers instruct drivers to "keep breathing" when taking the breath tests.

Below is a list of dental work and mouth devices that can have an effect on mouth alcohol –

  • Dentures
  • Retainers
  • Braces / Invisalign®
  • Fillings
  • Crowns / Caps

Even conditions like gingivitis, which can create deep pockets in the gums, can trap alcohol and cause breath tests to yield higher blood alcohol concentrations.

Breathalyzers, Intoxilyzers, and other brands of breath testing devices can be thrown off by even the smallest amount of mouth alcohol. Even a slight discrepancy, such as a .01% difference, can be enough to put you over the legal limit and be charged with DUI.

Prosecutors often argue that mouth alcohol dissipates quickly, and therefore is not a valid defense against DUI charges. Mouth alcohol does disappear faster than alcohol present in deep lung air, however, it can still be enough to throw off breath testing results.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County, contact DUI attorneys Jeffrey Gold and Nigel Witham of Gold & Witham today. We are available 24/7 and provide free DUI case evaluations.

Categories: DUI, Chemical Testing


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