When Mark Ditka, son of former Chicago Bears player Mike Ditka, got arrested
for driving under the influence in September, the court hearing actually
had the judge throw out the results of the portable breathalyzer test.
Ditka was nailed for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.16, which is twice
the legal limit, but had used a citrus smelling/flavored tobacco immediately
before the test. This would or could have altered the result. The unfortunate
thing is that it doesn't relieve the case. He is still being charged
with the DUI. .
It all happened in in Deerfield, IL, he was noticed by a police officer
for a number of reasons indicating his drunknenness—including smelling
like alcohol, slurring his words, and failing the other
field sobriety tests he had taken. There were a few unsuspected responses on the fact that
the citrus-flavored chewing tobacco could be just like using a mouthwash.
Several breath-test experts and chemists agreed that having a substance
like chewing tobacco or mouthwash in or on one's mouth shortly before
a portable alcohol test can falsely change the results.
The reason that the chewing tobacco may change the way the body breaks
down ethyl alcohol by converting it into the chemical acetaldehyde, which
easily builds up in a person's breath. The difference between the
portable and the stationary device is that the stationary devices measure
alcohol levels more rigorously and quickly usually by having a better
filter or detector to differentiate between alcohol and acetaldehyde.
Chewing tobacco may also absorb food or beverage remnants that can influence
the test results. Sometimes the police officers by law have to observe
the 20-minute waiting period before testing a suspect on a stationary
machine. This has a number of significant implications for DUI cases—especially
as proves BAC tests can be inaccurate on account of various fafctors.
If you have been charged with
DUI, there are often numerous ways that an attorney can help you fight to
disprove the evidence.
Call the Law Offices of Mitch Furman firm to learn more!