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 –
- Braces / Invisalign®
- 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
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.