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Attacking Odor of Alcohol | Chicago DUI Lawyer

When an officer pulls you over or reports to the scene of an accident, if he detects the "Odor of Alcohol," that will be one of the first presumed signs of alcohol intoxication he will use to decide that you've been drinking and that he should begin a DUI investigation. After detecting the Odor of Alcohol, the officer might put you through your paces in a variety of field sobriety tests.
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Attacking Odor of Alcohol

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An Illinois DUI Defense can show Odor of Alcohol does not Reflect BAC

When an officer pulls you over or reports to the scene of an accident, if he detects the "Odor of Alcohol," that will be one of the first presumed signs of alcohol intoxication he will use to decide that you've been drinking and that he should begin a DUI investigation. After detecting the Odor of Alcohol, the officer might put you through your paces in a variety of field sobriety tests. Then he may arrest you on a DUI Charge and take you in for a chemical test of your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC). And then you might need a strong Illinois DUI Defense.

Experienced Chicago DUI Defense Lawyers will know that Odor of Alcohol is not an accurate test of intoxication. Scientific studies reveal that officers cannot accurately detect intoxication or BAC levels using an Odor of Alcohol clue.

Testing Reveals that even Experienced Officers cannot Determine BAC Levels or Types of Alcohol Consumed from Odor of Alcohol

For example, in one research study, 20 experienced officers tried to determine test subjects' intoxication and alcohol use by Odor of Alcohol. The 14 test subjects had BAC levels that ranged from 0% to 0.13% (the legal limit is 0.08%). The test subjects blew into a 6-inch tube from behind a screen. The officers, who couldn't see the test subjects, sniffed the odor as the breath emerged from the other end of the tube.

Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Michael Schmiege would note that the experienced officers were unable to identify the types of alcohol the subjects had been drinking (such as wine, beer, vodka, or bourbon). In addition, their estimates of BAC levels, based upon their estimates of the strength of the odors of alcohol, were unrelated and inaccurate. In other words, Odor of Alcohol does not provide a valid basis for a DUI Charge. Where an officer relies on Odor of Alcohol, your lawyer could build you a stronger Illinois DUI Defense.

Illinois DUI Defense: The Strength of an Odor of Alcohol does not Prove How Much You Drank

In actual point of fact, your Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer know that Odor of Alcohol does not really mean very much. It is the flavorings in a beverage that give it the Odor of Alcohol. Non-alcoholic beer and wine smell like beer and wine even though they contain little or no alcohol and won't intoxicate you. And even in the beverages that do contain alcohol, the ones with the smaller amounts of alcohol tend to have the stronger Odor of Alcohol.

For instance, has a stronger Odor of Alcohol than wine, which actually contains more alcohol. And wine generally has a stronger odor than vodka, which contains far more alcohol. Your Illinois DUI Defense can make use of this truth if the arresting officer at your trial tries to use his perception of an Odor of Alcohol at the time of your arrest to prove your guilt on a DUI Charge.

Your Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer might point out that even experienced officers cannot determine how much a suspect has had to drink from the Odor of Alcohol. For one thing, the odor is stronger the more recently a person consumed a drink. So a person that just recently had a single glass of wine might have a stronger Odor of Alcohol than a person who had 12 beers, but finished drinking an hour or two ago.

Your Illinois DUI Defense should note that from an Odor of Alcohol officers:

Cannot determine how much you had to drink; and

Cannot determine what types of drink you consumed.

Possible Questions for Your Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer to ask Your Arresting Officer at Your Trial on a DUI Charge

Your Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer could ask your arresting officer such questions as these during cross-examination to indicate the weakness of the prosecution's case against you:

  • Can you tell by that Odor of Alcohol you indicated the defendant had when the defendant began drinking that night?
  • Could  you tell us from the Odor of Alcohol what he had to drink?
  • So from that Odor of Alcohol you can't tell us whether it was beer, wine, scotch, vodka, a mixed drink, or some other thing?
  • Can  you tell us when he finished drinking?
  • Can  you tell us how much the defendant had to drink from the Odor of Alcohol?
  • Isn't it true that ethyl alcohol itself has little odor of its own?
  • Is it true that it's the flavoring in an alcoholic beverage that contains the odor rather than the alcohol?
  • And the drinks that tend to have the least amount of alcohol in them actually have the strongest flavorings and therefore the strongest odors?
  • In  your experience, who would have the stronger Odor of Alcohol: someone who's just been drinking in the last few minutes to half hour, or someone who finished drinking an hour or two ago?
  • So  based upon your experience, the strong Odor of Alcohol that you indicated  would mean that the defendant had just finished his drink in probably less than a half hour before you pulled him over?
     

Contact Experienced Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Michael P. Schmiege to Handle Your Illinois DUI Defense

When you need an effective Illinois DUI Defense backed by in-depth knowledge and skill, you need Michael P. Schmiege. He's got a solid track record for successfully handling trials and achieving favorable outcomes for his clients arrested on DUI Charges.

His thoughtful questioning of your arresting officer during cross examination could effectively establish to the jury that the officer had no way of knowing based upon Odor of Alcohol how much you had to drink, what you were drinking, or when you were drinking. If your arresting officer insists he detected a strong Odor of Alcohol on you or that the strength of the odor indicated you had just been drinking, Michael P. Schmiege could turn this statement around to show that the strength of the odor might mean you were drinking a type of beverage with one of the least amounts of alcohol.

AN able Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer like Michael Schmiege could also point out that the strength of the odor likely means that you very recently consumed your drink and that the alcohol was unlikely to be affecting your driving yet. It generally takes about 1.5 hours after drinking for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream and for you to reach peak BAC level.

Don't settle for a weak Illinois DUI Defense. Contact Michael P. Schmiege right away to set up a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss your case. Learn the strength of your defense when an officer relies on Odor of Alcohol to try and prove your DUI Charge.

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