Pennsylvania law does not treat drunk drivers kindly. On the contrary, if you drive under the influence of alcohol, you face a variety of legal consequences. These consequences, of course, may spill over into your everyday life. For example, you may lose your driving privileges or even your job after a DUI conviction.
If a police officer suspects you are driving drunk, he or she may ask you to breathe into a testing device. This device uses your breath sample to gauge if your blood alcohol concentration is above Pennsylvania’s 0.08% legal limit. Unfortunately, though, breath tests are not always reliable. Here are three common reasons an alcohol breath test may produce inaccurate results.
- Operator error
Like most mechanical devices, breath tests need careful calibration to perform properly. These devices also have storage and usage guidelines officers must follow precisely. If an officer does not administer a breath test correctly, the results of the test may be incorrect. The same is true if you do not comply with officer instructions when taking the test.
- Medical conditions
While breath tests are good at gauging a person’s blood alcohol concentration, the human body can fool the test. If you have a gastrointestinal condition, such as GERD or acid reflux, a breath test may produce a false-positive reading. Also, if you use an asthma inhaler or take certain medications, like cough syrup or cold medicine, your breath test results may not be reliable.
- Your diet
Consuming raw fruits, nuts, protein bars or dairy products may interfere with a DUI breath test. Similarly, if you are on an eating plan, such as a ketogenic diet, the contents of your digestive tract may contribute to a bad test reading.
Returning to normalcy after a DUI conviction may take you years. As such, you likely want to defend yourself aggressively against drunk driving charges. Providing evidence that a breath test produced a false-positive result may be an effective approach.