DUI Appeals Reports 02/19/16

The Fourth District holds that dentures are not foreign objects and that the accuracy of breath tests given to suspects with dentures in their mouth is a matter of weight, not admissibility, of the test results.

State v. Chancey, 2015 Ohio 5585 (4th Dist).


December 24, 2015

Chancey was administered a breath test, which he took while having dentures in his mouth.  After being convicted of an OVI for a high breath test, he appealed arguing that the test results were not valid due to the dentures.  Individuals are to be observed for twenty minutes prior to administering breath tests to ensure they have not ingested foreign materials.

The Fourth District cited a prior decision where it concluded that regulations do not require the removal of foreign material such as dentures prior to the beginning of the observation period."  It found that the effect of dentures on the accuracy of results is a matter of weight rather than admissibility.  Therefore, it concluded that effect of dentures on the "accuracy of breath alcohol test results could, within the court's discretion, be considered at trial by the trier of fact, be it a jury or the trial judge."  The Fourth District went on to explain that it could find no legal supportto conclude that dentures are a foreign object or that actual expert testimony definitively established that a dental plate caused a defendant to test higher on the BAC.

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