Breathalyzer tests are commonly used by law enforcement to determine whether a person is driving under the influence of alcohol. These tests measure the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath, which is then used to estimate their blood alcohol content (BAC) levels.
However, these tests aren’t infallible. There are several factors that can cause a person to fail a test even if they have not been drinking or are not over the legal limit, including:
Mouth alcohol refers to any alcohol that is present in a person’s mouth, rather than in their bloodstream, and it can significantly alter a Breathalyzer’s readings. Excess mouth alcohol can be caused by a variety of factors, including recent alcohol consumption, the use of mouthwash and breath mints.
Certain medical conditions can also cause a person to have naturally high Breathalyzer readings. For example, individuals with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may have alcohol vapors in their breath that can be detected by a Breathalyzer. Similarly, individuals with diabetes or who are on a low-carbohydrate diet may have elevated levels of acetone in their breath, which is what the device measures.
Finally, Breathalyzer tests can be subject to technical errors that can lead to inaccurate results. If the machine is not calibrated correctly, it may give false readings that are too high or too low. Similarly, if the person administering the test is not properly trained or does not follow the correct procedures, it can also lead to inaccurate results.
While breathalyzer tests are an important tool in detecting drunk driving, there are several reasons why someone may wrongly fail a breathalyzer test. If you believe this has happened to you, it may prove to be an important part of your defense.