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.