LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney George Fredrick Mueller

Why Mouth Alcohol Can Cause a Falsely Elevated Breath Alcohol Reading on the Breath Machine

Additional resources provided by the author

The mucous lining of the mouth cavity and nasal passages stores alcohol for some time after a person consumes alcohol. Normal body processes eliminate residual mouth alcohol within 15 minutes. Therefore, observe a subject for at least 15 minutes before performing a test. During the observation time, the subject may not eat, drink, or introduce any substance into his mouth. Furthermore, if the subject regurgitates, note the time and delay starting a breath test for at least 15 minutes. [CMI, Inc., Basic Maintenance and Repair of the Intoxilyzer Breath Analysis Instrument, 10/1/84, p. 44.]

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