The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

How can a breath test be wrong?

There are many defenses your attorney will suggest if you are on trial for DWI. In the event the arresting officer administered a breath test, then your lawyer may attempt to show the results were inaccurate.

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense, and you may have to contend with large fines, jail time and a suspended driver’s license if convicted. At the scene, you should use your right to remain silent. Do not tell the officer how much you had to drink that evening, if anything. You should also remember details of the breath test because they can be tremendously helpful in court. There are several ways for this test to go wrong.

Medical and health conditions

Certain types of prescription medication can show you are over the legal blood alcohol concentration limit even though you had nothing to drink. This is why you should keep a list of all medications you currently take on your person at all times. Medical conditions, such as acid reflux, can also result in an inaccurate reading.

Improper calibration

Breath test devices are extremely temperamental, and to compensate for this, they need to undergo calibration regularly. If the officer did not adequately calibrate prior to administering the test to you, then there is a chance it will provide an incorrect BAC reading. Additional factors can also influence the results, such as how long it took for the officer to give you the test.

Hygiene and diet

Part of good dental hygiene should involve using a mouthwash at least once a day to kill plaque. However, certain mouthwashes contain ethanol, which is a substance generally found in alcoholic beverages. Your diet also plays a role. If you do not consume many carbohydrates, then your body will produce an excessive amount of ketones. This means your body relies more on fat to produce energy rather than sugar, and it can alter the results of a breath test.


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