If you have crowns or bridges on your teeth and you enjoy going out on the town and getting something to drink, you need to keep in mind that those dental fixtures can cause a higher reading on a breathalyzer test.
Breathalyzers are the most common test administered to people who are pulled over for DUI – even though blood tests are a far more accurate measure of blood alcohol levels. The breath tests are far from perfect, though they are regarded as accurate enough to be used as widely as they are. These breathalyzers work by measuring the alcohol content in the breath of the individual being tested – as the name implies. When alcohol is consumed, it seeps into the bloodstream, as well as into the breath.
However, there are a variety of things that can skew the test, including dental fixtures in the mouth. Consumed alcohol can get caught under these fixtures, and if they don’t get the proper time to air out, then they can cause a higher reading on a breathalyzer than is actually accurate. This is called residual mouth alcohol, as Los Angeles DUI Attorney points out, and is more common than most people might think.
There are other things that can cause a higher reading than is accurate, such as acid reflux, vomiting, chewing gum or tobacco, and using mouthwash. Officers who administer breathalyzer tests are supposed to wait 15 minutes before actually doing the test to lower the risk of a wrong reading due to residual mouth alcohol, but this doesn’t always happen. So if you have dental work in your mouth, keep in mind that these can cause a higher reading on a breathalyzer.