The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud
Phone: 908-316-8671

What does an 'odor' of alcohol mean for my DUI arrest?

Officers will almost always indicate that they smelled an “odor of alcohol” coming from the vehicle (or the driver) when setting out facts to justify a DUI arrest. But it is interesting to know what such an odor actually smells like. This is because alcohol, by itself, doesn’t have a smell. In fact, the strongest alcoholic beverages (i.e. vodka, gin, bourbon) do not have distinctive smells, unless they are flavored.

Indeed, a person who has consumed a beer or had a glass of wine could have alcohol on their breath, but the smell of alcohol alone does not, and usually cannot, tell an officer how much you have had to drink, how long ago you consumed it or whether you are actually impaired. 

According to the website alcoholrehab.com, the smell of alcohol could be a sign of overindulgence, but it may also be a sign of other medical ailments as well. For instance, a person suffering from diabetes could have what may be considered alcohol on his or her breath, but at the same time may not have had anything to drink.

With that said, it may be important to challenge the officer’s observations when considering the reasons given for ordering a driver from their vehicle and having them perform field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests, as each of these additional steps are designed to give the police enough information (i.e. probable cause) to justify an arrest. If this information is proven to be faulty and incomplete, the arrest may be proven unjustified.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How I Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Cranford Office
190 North Avenue East Suite 1
Cranford, NJ 07016

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Cranford Law Office Map

Elizabeth Office
740 Newark Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Elizabeth Law Office Map

Brielle Office
503 Union Avenue
Brielle, NJ 08730

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Map & Directions

Phone: 908-316-8671 Fax: 908-272-9029
What does an 'odor' of alcohol mean for my DUI arrest? | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud