Amazingly enough, chewing tobacco can lead to falsely high BAC results on a DUI breath test—and thus to unfair charges of California DUI.
This is because of the phenomenon known as “mouth alcohol.”
DUI breath tests are supposed to only measure the alcohol content of air from deep in the lungs—the only air that will show what your blood alcohol content (BAC) actually is. But breath tests are often “confused” by air from the mouth that has an alcohol content. This is what we mean when we say “mouth alcohol.”
Chewing tobacco contains ethyl alcohol—not enough to actually make you intoxicated, but enough to show up on a DUI breath test.
In addition to chewing tobacco, mouth alcohol can be caused by:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux;
- Certain kinds of mouthwash; and
If you are arrested for DUI after using chewing tobacco, you will want to speak to a DUI defense attorney who is familiar with the use of "mouth alcohol" as a DUI defense.