Mouth alcohol is a form of vapor that is generated in the mouth. This vapor is usually a result of recent consumption of alcoholic beverages or other types of liquids. Depending on the source of the vapor, it may be present in the mouth for many hours, days, or even months. It can also be trapped in dental devices such as dentures or bridges. If this occurs, the breath test results may be affected.
The presence of mouth alcohol in the mouth is one of the main reasons for inaccurate BAC readings on a breath test. If it is detected, it can lead to false DUI convictions. There are several different sources of mouth alcohol. These include the mouthwash, the stomach contents, regurgitation, and recent vomit.
The most common source of mouth alcohol contamination is a recent drink of alcoholic beverages. Some beverages contain more mouth alcohol than others. Beer, for example, contains three to seven percent of alcohol. Moreover, some alcoholic drinks, such as wine, contain 12% of alcohol. Other alcohol based products, such as cough syrups and energy drinks, can cause mouth alcohol.
In addition, dental devices can trap mouth alcohol. Invisalign braces and dental bridges are two examples of dental devices that can trap alcohol. Some of these devices may not be noticeable to the officer conducting the breath test, but they can skew the results.
Another cause of mouth alcohol is chronic reflux. This is caused by gastric problems like GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease). Normally, the stomach contents flow back into the esophagus. However, in cases of chronic reflux, a phlegm or regurgitation can cause alcohol to flow back into the mouth. This can lead to a higher BAC on the breath test.
The presence of mouth alcohol can skew the breath test results, so if it is discovered, the test may be re-done. If this occurs, the officer will need to take the necessary precautions to prevent it from contaminating the test.
If a person takes a breath test on the road, it is important to wait fifteen minutes after drinking. This gives the breath sample time to travel through the mouth and be collected on the chemical analyzer. The resulting breath sample should be a parabola-shaped curve. This is supposed to provide a more accurate reading of the individual’s BAC.
If a person is accused of DUI, a breath test can be used as evidence. A breath test is the most commonly used piece of evidence in criminal impaired driving cases. If the test shows an elevated BAC, a defense attorney can raise the mouth alcohol defense. This can be a good way to prove that the individual did not have a BAC at the time of the test, making the case for a less severe penalty.
If a person has a history of gastrointestinal diseases, such as GERD or ulcers, they can have a rise in their BAC readings. These people also have a higher chance of experiencing false positives on the breath test. This is because the phlegm and regurgitation can create a false positive on the test.