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Is It Possible To Get A False Positive On A Breathalyzer Test?

  • By: Donald J. Matson, Esq.
  • Published: November 22, 2019
Is It Possible To Get A False Positive On A Breathalyzer Test?

Yes, It’s Possible To Have An Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test Result

There are a number of reasons why a breathalyzer test may come up positive thereby resulting in your arrest for a DUI Charge in Pasadena. Were you charged with drinking and driving? Here are some factors that may have contributed to a false positive in your test:

Alcohol Concentration In Your Mouth

Normally, in preparation for a breathalyzer test, law enforcement may ask you to take a moment, inhale and take a deep breath. You’ll then exhale before blowing into the breathalyzer machine. The reason for the latter is that the machine is said to measure the alcohol levels in your lungs. In theory, the lungs are thought to be able to correctly calculate the measure of alcohol in your body.

Unfortunately, this test may not be accurate as an individual may have a concentrated level of alcohol in their mouth and not lungs, and this elevation in mouth alcohol can taint the results of your breathalyzer test. It’s possible that you only had one drink, or even a strong mouthwash, cold medicine, or other substance that gave a false reading.

Medical Conditions And Dietary Issues

There are particular types of medications as well as ailments or medical conditions that can also skew the results of your breathalyzer test. As an example, diabetes has been known to elevate ketones in the breath, some call this Acetone Breath. Likewise, there may be a dietary reason why a person has elevated ketones, acetone breath or nail-polish breath. In these cases, you may test positive on a breathalyzer thereby getting an inaccurate result due to your medical condition.

Calibration Of Breathalyzer Machine

Law enforcement is required to properly calibrate any breathalyzer equipment that is in their use based on the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, police officers are to keep a log of equipment calibration and maintenance. Failure to properly calibrate or regularly maintain the equipment may result in a false positive breathalyzer reading. Your DUI attorney may ask the officer in question if the machine ever had an error, the last time the machine had maintenance done and what those dates were –as well as who performed the calibration of the machine and it’s maintenance.

Contact The Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, PC For Help Today

Have you or a loved one been arrested for drinking and driving in Pasadena California or the surrounding area due to a positive breathalyzer test? Do you believe your breathalyzer test is inaccurate? Let me fight for your rights.

Call Donald J. Matson today for help fighting a DUI charge and protecting your rights at (626) 600-3437.

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