Fort Lauderdale Dental Work Attorney
While it may not seem common to the average person, dental work is a defense that is often in DUI cases. This defense is based on the concept that things such as having dental work done or wearing dentures can lead to what is known as ‘mouth alcohol.’ Mouth alcohol can falsely elevate a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), resulting in DUI charges being laid. If you have been charged after taking a breath test, our Fort Lauderdale dental work attorney can assist with your case.
Dental Work and Mouth Alcohol
The term ‘mouth alcohol’ refers to trace amounts of alcohol that remain in the mucosal linings in the mouth. Mouth alcohol is created any time a person consumes, or regurgitates, anything that contains alcohol. Dental work can sometimes create mouth alcohol because of the solutions used during this type of treatment. If these solutions contain alcohol, it may remain in the lining of the mouth. There, it will not be absorbed into the bloodstream to increase a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels, but can still cause them to blow over the legal limit.
Other things can also cause mouth alcohol. These include certain medicines, such as cough syrup, mouthwashes, breath sprays, chewing tobacco, and medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Dental Work and Falsely Elevated BAC Results
When alcohol becomes trapped in the lining of the mouth, it will dissipate fairly quickly, usually approximately ten minutes after a person has consumed the alcohol. However, it can take over 30 minutes for the alcohol to be absorbed by the bloodstream. As such, the alcohol is present in the mouth, but has not yet raised the person’s BAC levels.
Breath test machines are designed to test alveolar air, which is air from deep in the lungs. When mouth alcohol is present though, the breath test device will register not only the alveolar air, but the mouth air, as well. If mouth alcohol is present, that will give a falsely elevated BAC result because the alcohol has not yet entered the bloodstream or the alveolar air sacs.
Dental Work and the Observation Period
Mouth alcohol from dental work is one reason it is so crucial police officers wait the 20-minute observation time required by Florida law before they administer a breath test. After that period of time has ended, it is likely that the mouth alcohol has been absorbed, so it will not contribute to a falsely elevated reading. Unfortunately, police officers are sometimes so eager to make an arrest that they do not wait for this observation period and innocent people are charged.
Call Our Dental Work Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
If you were charged with drunk driving after a breath test, our Fort Lauderdale dental work attorney at Meldon Law can help you beat the charges. Our seasoned attorneys know the DUI defense strategies that will refute the arguments of the prosecution and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.