Understanding how alcohol gets on your breath

If you have been arrested and charged with driving while under the influence in Monroe, disputing the charges against you may seem like a futile pursuit. Many have come to us here at Huffman & Kendrick, PLLC with the assumption, as well as an accompanying question: how is it that a measurement of your breath tells officials what the alcohol content of your blood is? Answering this may also provide you with the insight needed to potentially dispute the charges against you.

When you consume alcohol, the specific form of alcohol that you are ingesting is called ethanol. Per information share by the Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, ethanol is a water-soluble compound that can pass through cellular membranes via a process known as passive diffusion. This allows ingested ethanol to permeate the linings of the organs of your gastrointestinal tract and eventually reach the bloodstream.

Once in the blood, the ethanol molecules are carried to your heart, where they are then pumped into your lungs and come in contact with the oxygen you breathe in. This oxygen causes some of the molecules to vaporize into a gas, which is then expelled from your body with every breath.

As ethanol escapes, more is vaporized in order to maintain an equilibrium with that which is still in your blood. It is this ratio of alcohol between your blood and breath that is the basis of breathalyzer test readings. Yet with every breath, your BAC lowers, which means the charge that is is too high is based off a fluid value. This fact may help in your claim that the breathalyzer result being used against you is unreliable (indeed, such readings are often deemed inadmissible).

You can learn more about challenging drunk driving charges by continuing to explore our site.