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What are odd factors that influence DUI breath tests?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Driving under the influence, also known as DUI, charges can have serious consequences. However, someone can find themselves facing such charges despite drinking no alcohol at the time of testing.

Several odd factors can influence blood alcohol levels, potentially leading to wrongful convictions.

Mouthwashes and common drugs

Many mouthwashes and medications contain alcohol. Even a small bit of high-alcohol mouthwash can elevate blood alcohol levels temporarily. This skews breath test results. Similarly, certain cold medicines and cough syrups may contain alcohol, leading to false positives for tests.

Metabolic conditions

People with certain metabolic conditions produce alcohol internally. Factors such as gut bacteria composition and certain diets can contribute to this problem.

This metabolic quirk may not seem obvious right away. As a result, someone with such a condition might have a higher blood alcohol level than expected, even without drinking alcohol.

Hand sanitizer

Some hand sanitizers contain alcohol as an active ingredient. Someone could use a large amount of hand sanitizer and then take a breath test. During this test, traces of vapor from the sanitizer residue on their hands could lead to a test falsely showing the person is drunk.

Acid reflux

Conditions such as acid reflux can cause stomach acid to travel up the esophagus and into the mouth. This could produce a false positive result, despite the individual not drinking at all that day.

Wrongful DUI convictions often cause confusion and stress for individuals. By staying informed, people can better protect themselves from the problems that come along with incorrect breath tests.