PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone, or through video conferencing via Zoom or Electronic Sign up. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Distinctive. Trustworthy. Aggressive.
  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  – 3 reasons a breath test may render a misleading reading

3 reasons a breath test may render a misleading reading

When a person faces charges for driving under the influence, it might appear that there is no way to effectively fight the case. In reality, the defendant may have various grounds for reducing penalties or dismissing charges altogether.

One piece of evidence that the accused may be able to overturn is the results of a blood-alcohol breath test. Find out why these machines may render an inaccurate or questionable reading.

1. Foods, medicines or other products

Certain foods can lead to inaccurate breath test readings because they contain alcohol or substances that mimic alcohol in the body. Eating these foods before a test can falsely elevate the results. Examples include meals the cook prepared with alcohol, energy drinks, hot sauces, ripe fruit or those containing yeast, like bread or pastries.

Also, consuming certain substances can interfere with the accuracy of the test. For example, using mouthwash or breath sprays containing alcohol shortly before taking the test can lead to a higher reading than the actual blood-alcohol level. Additionally, medications such as cough syrups or cold medicines containing alcohol can also affect the results.

2. Environmental elements

Environmental factors can play a significant role in the accuracy of breath tests. For instance, exposure to paint fumes, cleaning chemicals or gasoline vapors can potentially contaminate the breath sample and result in a false positive reading. Similarly, being in a poorly ventilated area or near someone else who is using an alcohol-based product can also impact the test results.

3. Medical conditions and physiological factors

Factors such as body temperature, respiratory conditions like asthma or even the individual’s breathing pattern can affect the accuracy of the test. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes can cause substances in the body to register as alcohol during the test, leading to inaccurate readings.

These and several other factors can contribute to inaccurate or questionable readings on blood-alcohol breath tests. Awareness of potential issues and evidence of their interference could provide the basis for disputing a DUI charge.