Experienced attorneys have heard arresting officers cite a smell of alcohol
on a defendant's breath countless times. However, this is actually
very poor evidence that the defendant was intoxicated. If the arresting
officer claims that your breath smelled of alcohol, your attorney can
simply point out that the strength of that smell doesn't correlate
to the amount of alcohol consumed.
Indeed, some of the drinks with the lowest alcohol content have the strongest
smell—compare for example, beer and vodka. The primary reason for
this is that it is the smells associated with alcohol are not actually
from the alcohol itself, but from the other substances in alcoholic beverages,
such as the hops in beer and the fruits in wine. Alcohol itself does not
have much of an odor once it has been vaporized—which is why experienced
officers are always careful to say that they smelled an "alcoholic
beverage" rather than saying that they smelled "alcohol."
Furthermore, studies have shown that it is nearly impossible for even experienced
officers to tell how much and what kind of alcohol a person consumed just
by smelling their breath. Your DUI defense attorney can cite these studies
if the arresting officer makes the mistake of claiming that he is able
to tell the quantity and type of alcohol you are alleged to have consumed.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Orange County, an experienced criminal
defense attorney is your best bet to fight those charges. Call today for a
free initial consultation.