You may hear the term “mouth alcohol” used in relation to charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. You can find out what mouth alcohol is and how it relates to DUI charges with this article and the Simmrin Law Group.
Mouth alcohol levels can even impact your DUI defense in some cases. Find out more about how mouth alcohol can affect your DUI case in California by calling us at (310) 896-2723.
Defining Mouth Alcohol in the State of California
Mouth alcohol is a term used to refer to residual amounts of alcohol left in the mucosal linings of your mouth after you drink an alcoholic beverage. This alcohol can be detected by breathalyzer tests, inflating your reported blood alcohol content (BAC).
You should be aware that it takes alcohol around 10-or-15 minutes to dissipate from your mouth in most circumstances. However, it generally takes your digestive system 30 minutes to begin sending alcohol into your bloodstream.
Technically, you should only be charged with a DUI if you have too much alcohol in your blood, not in your mouth or even in your stomach. If you just drank an alcoholic beverage, your mouth alcohol could make your BAC seem illegally high, even before your system absorbs any alcohol.
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Impacts of Mouth Alcohol on DUI Cases in California
As we mentioned, high mouth alcohol can lead to incorrect BAC readings in California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles could be able to argue that your BAC was high because of the presence of mouth alcohol and that you were not actually driving while impaired.
However, police officers in California are supposed to watch you for 15 minutes before they perform a BAC test. This period is partially used to ensure that your mouth alcohol levels have diminished. If you were given a 15-minute wait period, it can be difficult to prove a mouth alcohol defense in court.
Get advice about whether or not you should use a mouth alcohol defense in your case by calling (310) 896-2723 to speak to legal professionals.
Substances That Increase Your Mouth Alcohol
Drinking an alcoholic beverage will increase your mouth alcohol. There are also other substances that can increase your mouth alcohol. For example, a BAC test may detect high levels of alcohol on your breath if you recently used:
- Certain mouthwashes, such as Scope
- Many popular breath sprays
- Any medications that contain alcohol (including Nyquil)
- Chewing tobacco
You may wish to avoid these items before you get behind the wheel in California, as they may make your BAC appear falsely high if you are stopped on suspicion of a DUI throughout the state.
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Conditions That Increase Your Mouth Alcohol Levels
Some medication conditions can also elevate your mouth alcohol levels. For example, if you suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you could regurgitate alcohol into your mouth when it should be in your stomach.
Additionally, some individuals who have dental work done will retain mouth alcohol for longer than 15 minutes. Retainers and dentures can keep alcohol particles in your mouth for longer than expected, leading to the false inflation of your BAC.
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Using Mouth Alcohol as a Defense in California
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to dispute your DUI charges based on your mouth alcohol levels at the time of your arrest. As we noted, law enforcement officers are supposed to wait for a set period of time before completing a BAC test. Your charges could be disputed if:
- The officer gave you a test before waiting 15 minutes
- The officer waited 15 minutes but did not watch you the entire time
- The officer waited 15 minutes but you have a medical condition that increases mouth alcohol
Note also that waiting too long to complete a BAC test can also be used to build your DUI defense. If an officer waits too long, your BAC could continue to rise, increasing over the legal limit and leading to a DUI charge. Speak with a lawyer about all of your options for a DUI defense right now.
Focus on Mouth Alcohol and Your DUI Case in California
The team at the Simmrin Law Group can help you review mouth alcohol and the way it affects your DUI case in California. You can begin focusing on your defense today by contacting our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles for a FREE consultation.
Allow us to develop your case immediately. Just complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723.