What Causes Breathalyzer Tests to Read False Positives?

What Causes Breathalyzer Tests to Read False Positives?
Aug 03, 2020 |

Law enforcement officers have made a concentrated effort to create the common belief that breathalyzer tests are foolproof. Realistically, they’re subject to many errors and may be inaccurate more often than they are accurate. Here are several things that can cause a breathalyzer test to produce falsely positive results and how to get legal help after a DWI arrest.

A High Mouth Alcohol Level

Even though they are widely used by law enforcement, breathalyzer tests are actually quite rudimentary. They aren’t able to distinguish between alcohol that has been absorbed into someone’s blood and alcohol that is simply in one’s mouth. This means that swishing with mouthwash on the way to work could get you pulled over and charged with a DUI if you fail the breathalyzer.

A test that is administered too soon after the driver drank or ate

Drinking or eating at all before a breathalyzer test — whether alcohol is involved or not — can also skew the test results. The officer should be observing you for at least 20 minutes prior to the test to make sure you haven’t eaten or drank anything. If they fail to do so, your test results may be dismissed on this factor alone.

If the driver has acid reflux or gerd

Acid reflux is a painful but common condition where food and drinks inside the stomach are pushed back up into the throat due to the upper esophageal sphincter becoming weaker and weaker over time. Besides creating bothersome and sometimes even debilitating chest pain and other problematic symptoms, this condition — called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD — can cause a person who is stone-cold sober to fail a breathalyzer test.

Your criminal defense attorney can help you get records of your medical treatment for GERD to provide to the court as evidence that it’s highly unlikely that the breathalyzer test the police officer administered was accurate.

If the Breathalyzer Test Wasn’t Correctly Calibrated

The accuracy of a breathalyzer test depends greatly on the equipment being serviced and calibrated appropriately and in a timely fashion. Breathalyzer tests that aren’t calibrated regularly are more likely to produce skewed results, which can easily be thrown out of court if argued against by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Was Your Positive Breathalyzer Test False? Get Legal Help Today

Having a breathalyzer test come back positive when you haven’t been drinking and driving is a frightening experience that leaves you feeling powerless. Defend yourself against false allegations of driving while intoxicated with the help of experienced Fort Bend criminal defense lawyers Segura & Kiatta. Call today for a consult at 281.570.6400.

Contact us

Contact segura & kiatta criminal defense

Schedule Your
Free Consultation

*Required Information

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Location

Segura & Kiatta, Criminal Defense
345 Commerce Green Blvd
Suite 200
Sugar Land, Texas 77478