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Can other factors affect a breath test?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

You may not think anything of it when asked to take a breath test during a traffic stop. Perhaps you are on your way home a have not had a drink. Can the breath test come back positive?

There are some circumstances that may lead to a reading on a breath test that makes the police believe you are driving under the influence of alcohol.

Did you take medication?

Some medications contain chemicals that may linger and cause your breath test to return positive. Inhalers for asthma are a prime example of a medication that may induce a false positive on a breath test. Any over-the-counter medicine that contains alcohol, even in small doses, may register on a test. Keep in mind that these medicines may also make you drowsy, so you should not take them before operating a vehicle.

Do you have diabetes?

People with diabetes run the risk of having an elevated level of blood ketones. When this happens, a chemical reaction can cause the blood to produce high levels of ketones used to burn sugar and fat to use as fuel. During this process, however, the blood may actually give off acetone, a form of alcohol. Following a ketogenic diet may also produce this same chemical reaction and side effect.

You should notify the police officer if you have any condition that threatens to lead to a false positive on a breath test. If you still wind up in handcuffs, a professional with knowledge of DUI law may aid in mounting a defense against the breath test results.