DWI Case Dismissed for Actor, Jeffrey Wright

Earlier this year actor, Jeffrey Wright (47 years old, of Brooklyn, New York), was arrested for drinking while intoxicated (DWI) in Manhattan. According to a report in the New York Post, police officers initially pulled the “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” actor over for speeding. The officers detected Mr. Wright’s bloodshot and watery eyes. Arresting officers also smelled alcohol and noted the actor’s difficulty with speaking in a clear fashion. Police administered a breath test and, at that time, determined that Mr. Wright’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was at .089 percent. The legal BAC limit in the state of New York is .08 percent.

Mouth Alcohol and DWI in NYS Mr. Wright appeared in court this week. Prosecutors and Mr. Wright’s defense attorney filed a joint motion to dismiss the matter regarding the pending DWI charges. The motion to dismiss was based upon the results of a different, “more precise” BAC test called the Intoxilyzer. This test was administered at the police precinct several hours after the initial street arrest. Mr. Wright’s BAC reading from the Intoxilyzer was 0.00.

Judge Neil Ross granted the dismissal, expunged the suspension of Mr. Wright’s driver’s license and sealed the case.

Mouth Alcohol and Inaccurate BAC results

The aforementioned Post article alludes to the notion that perhaps – time was on Mr. Wright’s side – in that a re-test of his BAC level was not taken until several hours later. Typically, there is a 15-minute waiting period after the initial BAC breath test to allow for dissipation of “mouth alcohol”. While the particulars were not fully divulged as to Mr. Wright’s DWI case – there are factors that do, in fact, give inaccurate BAC results in other DWI matters. Mouth alcohol is one such factor that can inaccurately boost the BAC level.

Residual mouth alcohol is basically the alcohol that stays in the mouth, throat or stomach – the body does not yet absorb it – but because of its presence, a breath test detects this alcohol and falsely elevates the BAC number. Mouth alcohol can be present after drinking alcohol or even after rinsing with a mouth wash product. Other bodily incidents or conditions that create alcohol mouth and thus may give a false BAC reading include: burping and acid reflux – as crude as it sounds – the alcohol comes back up from the stomach in these situations and mouth alcohol is present. Some have even argued that alcohol gets ‘captured’ in dentures and thus creates a situation wherein non-absorbed alcohol is present in the mouth.

It typically takes 15 minutes for any mouth alcohol to dissipate. After this wait time, the BAC results should be a more accurate reflection of the alcohol that is absorbed by the body and in the lungs as opposed to the existence of mouth alcohol that may be lingering in the body.

DWI in Utica

If you received a DWI in Utica or anywhere in the state of New York – the DWI is not necessarily definitive. The Utica DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys only work on DWI defense matters – we are experts in the field, dedicated to our clients and will leave no stone unturned! We look forward to serving you – call us today at 315-775-2001.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.