What Can Cause a Breathalyzer to Give a False Reading? | Crowell Law Offices

12 Jul What Can Cause a Breathalyzer to Give a False Reading?

When you’re driving down the road and you see blue lights flashing behind you, it can feel like your life is over at that moment. If the police pull you over and try to accuse you of driving under the influence, it’s important to stay calm. Even if you get charged with a DUI, you aren’t convicted of a crime and you have a chance to fight your charges in court. 

The police will likely use a breathalyzer to determine whether you’ve been drinking and driving, but even if the results of your breathalyzer aren’t in your favor, you aren’t out of options. Often, breathalyzers can give false readings and the evidence can be thrown out in court. At Crowell Law Offices, we’ve seen many DUI cases in which the breathalyzer evidence was insufficient.

A Sacramento DUI lawyer can investigate your charges and build a strong case in your defense so that hopefully, your charges can be reduced or dismissed. 

Improperly Calibrated Breathalyzer

Breathalyzers need to be calibrated once per month in order to give accurate readings on blood alcohol levels. If a police officer doesn’t take the time to calibrate a breathalyzer before giving it to a driver, the results can often be inaccurate.

When going to court, your DUI attorney in Sacramento can question whether the breathalyzer was calibrated and try to argue that the breathalyzer results aren’t sufficient.

Mouthwash and Other Products Containing Alcohol

There’s a chance that mouthwash, which contains acetone, and other products containing small amounts of alcohol can cause a breathalyzer to give a false reading when a driver isn’t actually driving under the influence. A police officer should wait at least twenty minutes after pulling a driver over before testing their blood alcohol level to ensure no other substances can trigger a false reading. 

If the police officer doesn’t provide a sufficient waiting period, then the defense can be used that other substances may have triggered the false reading.

Medical Conditions

Some specific medical conditions such as acid reflux and diabetes have a tendency to trigger false readings on breathalyzers because acid reflux causes liquids and gases in the stomach to rise to the mouth and those with diabetes who have high blood sugar can have high concentrations of acetone in their breath.

If you have one of these medical conditions, you may be able to use it as a defense to refute your DUI charge.

Consult a Sacramento DUI Attorney

Getting charged with a DUI can be frustrating and scary, especially if you receive a false breathalyzer reading when you weren’t actually guilty of a crime. Although you may feel that all hope is lost when the police have this evidence against you, it’s important to remember all the ways in which breathalyzer readings can be faulty.

At Crowell Law Offices, we strive to give our clients the legal representation they deserve. If you’re ready to discuss your case with a Sacramento DUI lawyer, fill out the contact form below or call 916-303-2800 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.