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May 11, 1994

Breath Alcohol After Using Mouthwash-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Alabama at Birmingham

JAMA. 1994;271(18):1401. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510420032019

In Reply.  —I thank Dr Brown for his interest in our study and for bringing the article by Spector1 to our attention. We did not encounter this article in our literature search, and we apologize for failing to give due credit. As Brown points out, Spector also described the decay characteristics of breath-alcohol values following rinsing of the mouth with alcohol-containing solutions. In this study, the test solution was ethanol (USP) diluted with water or orange juice to produce alcohol concentrations from 6% to 25%. Spector also found that the breath alcohol values decayed exponentially with time, although his decay curves were shifted to the right of ours by about 5 minutes; this effect was possibly because of the longer rinsing periods used in his study.As Brown notes, most law enforcement agencies require a waiting period before measuring breath alcohol values; we are, however, aware of many circumstances

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