Skip to main content

Do cavities affect the breath test for DUIs?

Douglasville, GA |

When I was given the breath test at the station I blew 0.11. I read online that smoking and cavities can cause the machine to give a false reading. Is this true?

Yes I had a few beers that night. The last drink about 30 min before I left the bar.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


You don't indicate whether you had been drinking when you were given the breath test.

As I understand it, it is possible that smoking can cause the breathalyzer to give an incorrect reading for a time after smoking, but if law enforcement authorities followed the correct protocol and the machine was calibrated and working correctly, the reading would be accurate.


There is supposed to be a fifteen minute observation period before the test is administered to negate those effects. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you.

My answers are only intended as general legal advice based on my eighteen years as an Austin criminal defense and DUI attorney. They are not intended to be a binding legal opinion nor to create an attorney - client relationship. For those questions asked outside of Texas, there is no intent on my part to practice law in any other state There is no substitute for contacting a local attorney. Feel free to visit my website, .


First, the officer should have observed the "20 minute rule" before he started the Intox 5000 test. In Georgia officers are trained to observe the subject for 20 minutes before they take the Intox5000 test. That means that you should have been observed for 20 minutes before you began the test to make sure you didn't have residual mouth alcohol in your mouth. The fact that you have cavities or bleeding gums can directly affect the test if the proper procedure isn't followed by the officer.
Second, the officer should have inspected your mouth or at least inquired if you have any issues concerning your mouth or if you had recently belched, hiccuped or had any acid relux before you took the test.
I would advise you to consult with an experienced, qualified and competent DUI defense attorney in your area to discuss your case ASAP.

Get Avvo’s 3-part DUI email series

A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.

DUI topics

Recommended articles about DUI

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer