Not So Fast! 4 Reasons You Might Have Blown A False Positive On Your Breathalyzer Test
If you've been arrested on a DUI, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible – whether you've been drinking or not. Law enforcement officials regularly use breathalyzers as part of their field sobriety tests when determining if someone is under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, breathalyzer results can be skewed by circumstances beyond your control. In fact, it is possible to blow positive for alcohol when you haven't been drinking at all. Here are four circumstances that can cause you to blow a false positive on your breathalyzer test.
Every human body produces acetone in small amounts. However, if you have diabetes, your body produces acetone in high doses. Because the human body processes ethanol – residual burn-off of alcohol – and acetone in the same manner, elevated levels of acetone can cause you to blow positive for alcohol. Unfortunately, if you're experiencing low blood sugar, you may also exhibit signs of intoxication such as dizziness, slurred speech and loss of coordination.
If you use an inhaler for asthma control, you could be in danger of blowing a false positive. While some inhalers contain ethanol, even those without the chemical can cause you to fail a breathalyzer test. One study conducted on asthma sufferers found that while they blew negative prior to using the inhaler, they all tested positive after using an inhaler.
If you suffer from GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, you run the risk of blowing a false positive on a breathalyzer test. With GERD, natural mouth alcohol has no way to dissipate. In addition, food can ferment in the stomach, creating a natural alcohol that can come up in your mouth when you burp.
If you use mouthwash or a breath freshening spray, the alcohol content could interfere with your breathalyzer results. In one study, gargling with mouthwash just 10 minutes before a breathalyzer test caused a false positive on the test. Unfortunately, if you're like most people, you probably gargle with mouthwash at least once a day. Spray breath fresheners also contain alcohol, which means you run the risk of blowing positive after freshening your breath.
If you've been charged with a DUI after failing a breathalyzer test, you need to speak to a DUI attorney as soon as possible. This is particularly true if any of the situations described above apply to you. You may have blown a false positive due to circumstances beyond your control.