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The Officer Says You Smelled of Alcohol. Sacramento DUI Attorney Explains Why That Testimony is Insignificant

Sacramento DUI attorneys know that in virtually every DUI case, the arresting officer will testify that the defendant smelled strongly of alcohol when he or she was pulled over. This testimony may sound bad for your case. But is it? Not if you are represented by a competent Sacramento DUI attorney. A good DUI attorney knows that the odor of alcohol is not compelling evidence for two reasons.

Alcohol Has No Odor

Testimony The smell associated with an alcoholic beverage is actually not alcohol at all, but flavoring added to give the beverage its characteristic taste. In fact, some beverages with the lowest concentration of alcohol actually have the strongest smell. Beer has a stronger smell than scotch, for example. And vodka is nearly odorless. Similarly, “near beer” smells just as strong as beer, yet it contains virtually no alcohol.

Experienced officers are aware of this fact. Typically they will testify that they noticed the odor of an “alcoholic beverage,” rather than the “odor of alcohol.” A knowledgeable Sacramento DUI attorney will get the officer to acknowledge the distinction and to admit that what he or she smelled was nothing more than flavoring.

The Strength of the Odor Has No Correlation With the Amount Consumed

There is no scientific evidence that the amount a person has had to drink can be determined from how strongly the person smells of alcohol. A person who has had a single beer may smell more strongly of alcohol than a person who has had several shots of vodka. Under cross-examination by a Sacramento DUI attorney, most officers will concede this point.

Contact a Sacramento DUI Attorney

If you are facing DUI charges and would like to consult with experienced Sacramento DUI attorney Param Pabla, call us at (916) 285-7900.

Client Reviews
“Mr. Pabla represented me with my DUI case. He has excellent communication skills and always kept me informed. Mr. Pabla made sure I understood the process and my rights. He eased my mind through a very stressful situation. I highly recommend Mr. Pabla.” Gurpreet
“I am so happy with the service that I received from Param S. Pabla. Jarrett did a great job solving my legal issue and I can’t recommend him enough! He was able to do everything quickly, painlessly, and was ALWAYS available to talk when I needed him. If I ever need help again, I will definitely use him!" Boris
“Param was excellent in my court case of failure to stop at a stop sign. The officer could not see clearly because he was too far away. The officer insisted he could and said he had video but could not produce it at the trial. The officer then asked if he could suspend the trial to go get the video but the judge said he should have had plenty of time to get the video ready beforehand. Needless to say, the judge ruled in my favor and dismissed the case which enraged the officer. Pabla Param’s defense and cross examination skills were excellent and paramount in having the case dismissed. Highly recommended.” T.C.
“My husband and I needed to update everything -family trust, will, medical stuff. Param was really patient -answering all my questions -even when I asked them twice. He wanted to be sure I understood everything we were doing. All docs were sent to us so we could go through them on our own time before anything was finalized. I also liked when we were looking at medical stuff that he had a conversation with me about what I wanted and pointed out some things I didn’t think of.” Debbie