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3 things that can create a false positive for breathalyzers

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2019 | Uncategorized

After a long night out with friends, driving home becomes the next imperative. You wait to sober up before you hit the road, but all the same a cop car flashes its lights and you pull over. Now while you probably didn’t expect this DUI stop, you probably know something about what’s coming next. There will be sobriety tests, notably a breathalyzer. No matter how few drinks one’s had, blowing into the mouthpiece is always a moment of dreaded anticipation.

And that dreaded anticipation makes forming a defense difficult. Many can be in the shock of the unexpected pullover and the “yes sir, no sir” etiquette of speaking with the officer. While technology has improved in breathalyzers over the years, the glowing digital display is not sacrosanct. While it might be difficult to speak up, there are plenty of reasons to challenge the reading on a breathalyzer. Don’t think of it as resistance. Because it’s not.

Why a breathalyzer would deliver a false reading

Glitches: Breathalyzers run on a certain software. Software can have bugs and glitches and require calibration. While it might be more difficult to tell if a machine is not in proper working order, if the officer seems to struggle with it, there may be cause.

Medications: A hardy breath into the mouthpiece of a breathalyzer might seem simple enough. But if you are on medication, you are familiar with the complicated and potent chemistry that comes with pairing alcohol with other substances. Whether you’re on prescription pills or allergy medicine, these can all have an impact on the final reading.

Diabetes: People who suffer from diabetes typically deal with something called hypoglycemia. Now what that means is that their body produces significantly more acetone. Acetone unfortunately can register as alcohol! So if you feel that your blood sugar is low, a challenge might be very apt.

As you can see, there are legitimate reasons why breathalyzers would register an inaccurate reading. This isn’t to say that the office won’t scoff at you. After all, claiming “inaccuracy” at a DUI pullover might earn you laughs. But there is legitimate reason to call a breathalyzer’s reading into question. If you were pulled over and tested above the legal limit, don’t be afraid to reach out to a qualified legal professional to help advocate for you against DUI charges.