Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How does "Alcohol" Have an "Odor?" California DUI criminal defense attorneys' query

California DUI criminal defense lawyers usually hear a policeman say that the driver smelled like the odor of alcohol. What is that?!

Well, swirl a glass of nice beer and keep swirling it around and around.

Now, smell the odor. It should smell like freshly cut apple.

You are smelling are the literally hundreds of esters and aldehydes that are contained in beer from the natural products used in its preparation. These are the congeners.

Also, the "bouquet" of smell that one gets from swirling a glass of wine. Swirl and then smell.

The main metabolite of ethanol is "Acetaldehyde" which has a "fruity" smell.

One's human nose cannot distinguish between the "fruity" smell of acetaldehyde and the "fruity" smell of congeners when on breath.

Due to the acetaldehyde metabolite of ethanol is more abundant following drinking of an alcoholic beverage, more likely than not, it is the predominant contributor to the "fruity" smell on breath.

However, it is not the only contributor in the initial time following consumption of an alcoholic beverage.

Vodka, which is nothing more than pure alcohol diluted to a prescribed strength with distilled water is defined as a colorless, odorless liquid. A common property of vodkas produced in the United States and Europe is the extensive use of filtration prior to any additional processing, such as the addition of flavourants. Filtering is sometimes done in the still during distillation, as well as afterwards, where the distilled vodka is filtered through charcoal and other media. This is because under U.S. and European law vodka must not have any distinctive aroma, character, colour or flavour. However, this is not the case in the traditional vodka producing nations, so many distillers from these countries prefer to use very accurate distillation but minimal filtering, thus preserving the unique flavours and characteristics of their products.

With all the infused, flavored vodkas on the market, one may think that there is vodka law. However, President Putin of Russia thinks there is a vodka law. In 2005, he required the passage of a law that governs and limits the additions to the vodka in Russia.

Ethanol has a "mild" odor when the concentration is high, as in a liquor or wine that has not been consumed. When ethanol on the breath of a human is observed, the ethanol is of insufficient concentration to be detected, so what is detected is not the ethanol, but the other compounds on the breath. These were either present in the drink when consumed, or were manufactured by the human body as part of the process of metabolizing the drink and meal.

If you want to smell what acetone is like, purchase a bottle of nail polish remover, check the label to see that acetone is the main ingredient and that it is a high percentage of the remover. Have a whiff of the remover and you will see what a very high concentration of acetone smells like.

If people with the fruity smell are tested, and they test high for alcohol, then if you are using a fuel cell type machine, it is definitely NOT from acetone, as the fuel cell technology is absolutely blind to acetone. The fuel cell is not affected in any way by the presence of acetone.

What is permitted to be labeled as a certain class of liquor by the TTB.

For those who want to know what ethanol smells like, go to your liquor store and purchase a pint of "Everclear" 190 proof (95% ethanol) Not available in every state, but it is available for sale in some states like Maryland.

Everclear is odorless to most people (try it out for yourself, as the congeners are not present). College students often use it to "spike" drinks so that the person drinking will not know there is alcohol in the drink.