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DUI surprises: Interesting myths about Breathalyzer tests

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | Drunk Driving Defense

There are people who claim that you can trick a Breathalyzer test, but the truth is that it’s unlikely. It is more likely to have a false positive based on other factors, such as having a condition like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or using dentures.

Breathalyzer tests rely on you to breathe consistently into the device. The test has to be given correctly, or else it can result in a reading that is too high or too low. Here are some myths that you should know.

1. Dentures won’t affect your reading

Dentures can affect your Breathalyzer reading if alcohol is able to get up and under the dentures between the gums and the unit. That alcohol, which would not be absorbed into the body, could potentially cause a higher reading when the person blows out air through where the alcohol has been retained. It’s been shown that waiting at least 20 minutes will reduce the risk of any retained alcohol affecting a Breathalyzer test.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can affect your Breathalyzer reading

When you have GERD, the contents of the stomach regurgitate into the esophagus. This causes the symptoms of acid indigestion or heartburn. If a person has an episode of GERD prior to a DUI test, the alcohol gases or vapors could be misread as deep lung air, which could result in a false reading, in some cases.

3. Breathalyzer calibration doesn’t affect the outcome

This is untrue, or else calibration wouldn’t be a requirement. Having a Breathalyzer test calibrated correctly is essential to getting the right, and accurate, results. Every state has its own rules on how often these tests need to be calibrated, but most require them to conform to a list of acceptable devices and to be maintained and checked for accuracy regularly. Your attorney can find out exactly how often the test you took was calibrated and if it falls in line with the state requirements. Poor calibration can lead to inaccuracies, often noted when each repeated reading is too far off from the previous reading to be accurate.

A DUI is something that you should take seriously, and with so many factors affecting the potential for a high BAC reading, it makes sense to have an attorney on your side. With help, you can fight the charges against you and take time to work toward a fair resolution to the case.

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