Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Can You Get a False Positive on a Breathalyzer Test?

Can you get a false positive on a breathalyzer test?  So many times I’ve had clients say “I swear I didn’t drink that much!”  If you’ve faced a DWI charge, you may question breathalyzer test accuracy. These tests determine if you’re over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. But can you trust breathalyzer results? Here, we’ll explore false positives on breathalyzer tests and important considerations in this situation.

Understanding Breathalyzer Technology

Before discussing false positives, it’s crucial to understand how breathalyzers work. These devices measure alcohol in your breath and estimate your BAC. They rely on the correlation between alcohol in breath and in the bloodstream. However, various factors can affect test accuracy.

Factors That May Influence Breathalyzer Accuracy

While breathalyzers are generally reliable, certain factors can lead to false positives. Key considerations include:

Mouth Alcohol Contamination

One cause of inaccurate readings is mouth alcohol. Residual alcohol in your mouth from recent use or exposure (e.g., mouthwash or some medications), and belching or regurgitation during testing can skew results, showing an artificially high BAC.

Improper Calibration or Maintenance

Breathalyzers require regular calibration and maintenance for accuracy. Inadequate procedures by law enforcement agencies can compromise device reliability and potentially lead to false positives.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions and specific diets may produce substances called “ketones” that breathalyzers can register as ethanol. This means individuals with diabetes or those following low-carb diets may be more prone to false positive breathalyzer results.

Residual Mouth Alcohol

Drinking alcohol shortly before a breathalyzer test can lead to inaccurate readings. Even small amounts of alcohol left in your mouth can cause a temporary spike in BAC, resulting in a false positive.

Conclusion: Seek Professional Legal Advice

While breathalyzers are widely used and generally reliable, false positive results are possible. Mouth alcohol contamination and improper calibration can affect accuracy. If facing a DWI charge based on questionable breathalyzer results, consult with an experienced DWI attorney specializing in representing clients in New Orleans, Metairie, or throughout Louisiana. We’ll assess your case and mount a strong defense tailored to your circumstances. Remember, the law is complex, and professional legal advice is your best course of action.

Don’t let a DWI charge hinder your future. Our law firm specializes in representing clients facing DWI charges in New Orleans, Metairie, and throughout Louisiana. If you believe you have been wrongly accused due to inaccurate breathalyzer results, contact us at 504-434-7000. Our experienced legal team is ready to mount a solid defense tailored to your situation. Remember, you’re not alone – we’re here to help. Call us today!