Breathalyzers and Mouth Alcohol Content

The Effect of Mouth Alcohol on Breathalyzers

The most common way that Utah police agencies are able to gain their probable cause for making a DUI arrest is through the use of  a breathalyzer.  Utah law enforcement uses the Intoxilyzer 8000 as their machine of choice, but is such a machine flawless?  The answer is a simple no.

A breathalyzer’s results can be manipulated or altered in a number of ways.  One of the most common means of causing a breathalyzer to return incorrect results is by initiating the test too soon after the suspect has been drinking.  Generally speaking, if someone has been drinking in the past 15-20 minutes the breathalyzer will return false positive results.

You see, alcohol stays in the mouth for a certain amount of time and that time can be increased by an individual’s specific circumstances such as if the individual has dentures, other permanent mouth pieces, and certain types of mouth diseases that result in sores or holes in the mouth where alcohol can be stored.  In such situations the breathalyzer will likely result in readings that are significantly increased.

What does the Law Require Law Enforcement to do to Avoid Mouth Alcohol Content?

Under Utah law, the police and other law enforcement agencies are held to strict standards to ensure breathalyzer reliability.  Those standards require that (1) the breathalyzer was properly checked by a trained technician and was in proper working condition at the time of the test; (2) the breathalyzer test was administered correct by a qualified operator; and (3) the DUI suspect was observed by a law enforcement officer for the fifteen minutes that immediately preceded the breathalyzer test to ensure that the DUI suspect introduced nothing into his mouth during that time.

What Happens if Law Enforcement does not Follow the Legal Standards?

If law enforcement does not follow the proper legal standards set forth above then the results can be ruled to be unreliable.  Your Criminal Defense at Salcido Law Firm will file motions on your behalf to exclude such unreliable results.

We Are Experienced DUI Attorneys

At Salcido Law Firm our attorneys are experienced in DUI defense.  Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help you fight the DUI charges brought against you.  You can reach us anytime at 801.413.1753 or 888.337.3235 or by email.

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