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Factors That Can Cause A False Positive Breath Test

Posted on in DUI Defense

Factors That Can Cause A False Positive Breath TestAfter being charged with a DUI, it is entirely common to feel hopeless. In reality, the arrest is just the first step in the legal process. Through diligent communication with your attorney, you may be able to develop a strategy that can ensure that you avoid a conviction. One of the most common DUI defenses is a false positive breath test. Below, we will examine the most common reasons why a Breathalyzer could mistakenly indicate you are over the legal limit. In the event of a DUI arrest, speak with a legal professional immediately. 

Reasons for a False Positive 

If you are notified that you are over the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content, it may seem like you have no choice but to accept your criminal punishment. In some cases though, a Breathalyzer’s results can show up as positive due to extraneous circumstances, such as:

  1. Medications: In some cases, a Breathalyzer may indicate that a person is intoxicated due to medications that a person has ingested. Most notably, cold and flu medications can cause a jump in a person’s blood alcohol content. In these instances, it is paramount to speak with your attorney immediately. 
  2. Medical Conditions: Unfortunately, some people are falsely accused of driving under the influence due to preexisting medical conditions. For instance, people with diabetes can have high levels of acetone in their breath, which can cause a Breathalyzer reading to show up much higher than the blood alcohol content actually is. In other instances, a medical condition can impact a person’s speech, balance, or mobility, prompting the officer to falsely believe they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  3. Types of Food: While somewhat uncommon, the digestion of certain foods can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to pass a breath test. Some foods such as pizza can result in a failed test due to the fermentation of the food. In other cases, ingestion of vinegar can falsely indicate that a person has been consuming alcohol. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

The ramifications of a DUI conviction can be life-changing. Outside of potential jail time, a conviction can result in significant fines, loss of driving privileges and difficulty securing employment. At McMahon Law Offices, we are prepared to develop a defense strategy that will make a conviction as difficult as possible. A DUI charge is a serious offense, and you deserve the most qualified defense lawyers in the greater Chicago area. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County DUI defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400.  



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