Ft. Meyers, FL- When you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence on the road or at a checkpoint and an officer believes you are intoxicated they will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer. You can choose to take this or not, which has a different series of consequences. If you do decide to take the breathalyzer, the result can be the strongest evidence against you. But the results of these tests can be challenged for your DUI defense.
The various types of breathalyzers utilized by law enforcement agencies detect the amount of alcohol in person’s system by having them blow into the device. It analyzes the alcohol molecules in a specified amount of air. But there are numerous variables which can give inaccurate results.
While the breathalyzer is scientifically approved to determine an individual’s level of alcohol intoxication, but this under certain circumstances this equipment can give inaccurate results. The reasons vary from locale to locale, in some areas breathalyzers are repeatedly questioned for inaccuracy. If the person conducting the test is inexperienced or lack the necessary skills, the results can be challenged. A DUI defense attorney will know if the tests used in your district are plagued with accuracy issues.
Medical issues such as diabetes can affect the results of a breathalyzer. People who suffer from low-blood sugar, hypoglycemia, can give a high reading on a breath test. This is because people with hypoglycemia can go into a state called ketoacidosis, which produced acetone. A breathalyzer can record acetone as alcohol and a person can therefore be wrongfully charged with DUI without having a drop of alcohol.
A person’s lifestyle such as their diet or whether they smoke can also cause a breath test to give false readings.
People on a low-carb diet can register a high concentration of alcohol on a breath test because they can go into a hypoglycemic state. Denying the body necessary carbohydrates lowers a person’s blood sugar and, as stated above, can give inaccurate breathalyzer results because of the creation of acetone.
If you happen to smoke, your body creates a compound called acetaldehyde, which is produced by the liver as you metabolize alcohol. Scientific studies have shown that smokers, even when they have not been drinking, can raise tests results because of the presence of acetaldehyde.
People who have acid reflux or have belched can give high readings on a breath test. This is because you are breathing up alcohol from your stomach into your throat and mouth and stay there for at least 20 minutes. Breathalyzer equipment cannot distinguish between breath from your stomach and breath from your lungs.
Reaching for that mouth wash or breath spray when an officer has pulled you over can also lead to a drunken driving arrest. One of the main ingredients in mouth wash and breath sprays is alcohol and just as with a burp, it will remain in your oral cavity for 20 minutes.
An effective DUI attorney will decide if there are any questions about the accuracy of your breath test based on chronic disease like diabetes or other extenuating circumstances and will use that information in your defense.