Can chewing tobacco increase a blood alcohol level?
Chewing tobacco has little if any effect on a person’s actual blood alcohol level. Amazingly enough, however, chewing tobacco can lead to falsely high BAC results on a DUI breath test—and thus to unfair charges of DUI.
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:
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.
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.