Mark Ditka's DUI Arrest Gives Us Something to Chew On

Posted by Mitch Furman | May 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

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!

About the Author

Mitch Furman

Providing Clients with Competent Representation For 20+ Years! My firm provides individuals in and around Chicago with the high level of representation, guidance and service they need and deserve in a wide range of legal areas of practice. I am extremely well-versed and extensively experienced ...


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