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Why Was the Breathalyzer I Took Test Positive When I Wasn’t Drinking?

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Although many people think that a positive breathalyzer test immediately leads to a guilty verdict, breathalyzer equipment is notorious for malfunctioning or producing results that are too high or too low. This can sometimes render breathalyzer test results inadmissible in court. Here’s what to know about false positives and how to defend yourself against drinking and driving charges. 

The Breathalyzer Equipment Picked Up on a High Mouth Alcohol Level  

Breathalyzers aren’t smart enough to understand the difference between alcohol that is in a person’s mouth that they just drank and alcohol that is inside a person’s bloodstream, causing them to become intoxicated. So if you have a sip of someone’s martini and drive home, you could have a falsely positive breathalyzer if you’re pulled over and tested.

You Have Been Diagnosed With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

If a physician has diagnosed you with acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), this may be the cause of a false positive breathalyzer test. The condition is marked by the reflux of the stomach contents back up into the throat, even hours after you’ve eaten. The symptoms of acid reflux can range from moderately uncomfortable to debilitating enough to visit the emergency room for severe chest pain. 

Having GERD means that you have more stomach acid in your mouth, which can contribute to or cause a higher-than-normal BAC reading on a breathalyzer test. Your attorney can help you with gathering your medical records that show you have been diagnosed and are being treated for GERD. 

The Officer Didn’t Follow the Right Testing Protocol or Calibrate the Equipment Correctly  

Police officers are responsible for maintaining the integrity of their breathalyzer tests and keeping them calibrated as recommended by the device’s manufacturer. If an officer fails to do so, their testing equipment can produce consistently inaccurate readings. A criminal court is unlikely to accept the test result of an uncalibrated breathalyzer machine as an accurate piece of evidence against a defendant.

Fight a DWI Charge Today With the Help of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney 

Being pulled over for drinking and driving is scary, but it’s particularly bewildering if you weren’t driving drunk. If your breathalyzer test came back positive without you having had any alcohol, this can make you feel like you don’t have any way to prove your case. Get legal help today by calling Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin at (800) 458-1488.

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | October 10, 2020 | DUI

Can a DUI Breathalyzer Test Be Wrong?

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Even though breathalyzer tests have become the standard for officers to detect a person’s level of intoxication, or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), they may not be as accurate as they’re advertised to be. Here’s what you should understand about the potential misconceptions about breathalyzer tests. 

Understanding Breathalyzer Tests and How They Work  

Three types of breathalyzer machines exist: fuel cell testers, semiconductor testers, and infrared spectrometry. Infrared spectrometry is the most accurate of the three, however, it’s a much larger machine that typically is reserved for use by police departments, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and hospitals.

The most common type of breathalyzer used by police officers during a DWI stop is a fuel cell tester. This machine reacts chemically with the alcohol in a person’s breath, generating a small amount of electricity. The greater the amount of alcohol in the person’s body, the more electricity will be generated, and the higher the BAC reading will be.

Can Breathalyzers Be Inaccurate Sometimes? 

When you are stopped for drinking and driving, the police officer must follow a certain protocol to ensure that nothing can interfere with the test results. That said, many officers still ignore this protocol, making the evidence inadmissible in court. Your breath test results may also be inaccurate if you:

  • Had a drink right before being pulled over, even if you’d consumed no other alcohol
  • Have a health condition like acid reflux or diabetes that raises the levels of alcohol in the mouth but not the bloodstream
  • Work with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your job or for home improvement projects
  • Were tested with improperly calibrated breathalyzer equipment

A Defense Against Positive Breathalyzer Test Results 

What you do next after being pulled over and charged with a DUI is important. You can attempt to defend yourself, but this almost never pans out the way you would expect. A skilled attorney, however, can dig into the evidence the prosecution is holding against you and dismantle it point by point. This can raise enough doubt that you’re unable to be convicted of the crime. 

Contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin Today 

California treats drinking and driving very seriously and convicted offenders face harsh penalties including jail time and hundreds or even thousands of dollars in penalties. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Chad Lewin understands how to protect clients’ rights and pursue the best possible outcome in their case. Call now for your consultation at (800) 458-1488. 

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | June 27, 2020 | DUI

Can You Trick a Breathalyzer Test?

Trick Breath

Can You Cheat A Breathalyzer Test? People have been looking for ways to fool breathalyzer tests ever since they were first introduced to detect the concentration…

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | May 15, 2020 | DUI

Crimes in Los Angeles, California

California Crimes

It’s always unnerving to be pulled over by a police officer, even if you’ve not broken any laws. At worst, you expect to be issued a warning or a ticket for a minor traffic infraction…

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | April 15, 2020 | DUI

Can Prescription Drugs Result in DWI Charges?

DWI

In California, a DWI charge is usually associated with alcohol consumption. However, an individual may be charged with a DWI if they are impaired by any substance…

By : Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin | March 15, 2020 | DUI