Five Ways to Prevent Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results
You may not feel that you are under the influence of alcohol after having a sip or two. However, breathalyzer results can be quite different than expected. Improper results could cause unnecessary legal problems. You may not actually be under the influence of alcohol, so make sure that the result matches that. Here are things you should do:
- Don’t smoke cigarettes before or when driving: If you are smoking cigarettes very recently, you should inform the police officer or pass on the breathalyzer test. It has been shown that smoking could significantly increase the test result. In fact, the result is high enough that you can be convicted and charged of drunk driving. When you smoke, a substance known as acetaldehyde is found in your mouth and it can be falsely detected as alcohol by the breathalyzer. This substance is produced when alcohol is metabolized by the liver.
- Tell the officer you have possible low blood sugar due to diabetic symptoms: Diabetics may have low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia. This condition is also known as ketoacidosis. It means that the production of acetone in your body is higher. Acetone is also detected as alcohol by breathalyzer. Tests have shown that diabetics have higher results of inaccurate reading due to the presence of acetone in their system. Unfortunately, symptoms of hypoglycaemia include confusion, loss of coordination, weakness, slurred speech, blurred vision and dizziness, which are similar to people who are under the influence of alcohol.
- Tell the officer you are having a low-carb diet: If you are on a low carb diet or had nothing to eat for some time, then you may need to pass the breathalyzer test. A perfectly healthy and normal individual may have low blood sugar condition shouldn’t drink even just a small amount of alcohol, because the result can be exaggerated. If the person has been on low-carb diet for 24 hours or more, liver will stop the production of glucose, while the metabolism of alcohol will be accelerated. It means that the breath test result will be much higher.
- Tell the officer you have acid reflux: People who have excess acid in their stomach tend to belch and burp. In this condition, you shouldn’t take the breathalyzer test. When you have acid reflux, you actually exhale alcohol from your oral cavity and throat. This could mean trouble if the excess alcohol is breathed into the breathalyzer mouthpiece. Alcohol that comes from your digestive system could be interpreted as coming from your lungs. Breathalyzer doesn’t know about the source of alcohol. The result could be false high readings and an immediate DUI conviction.
- Don’t use breath spray or mouth wash: Mouth wash products often contain alcohol and some products, like Listerine could contain about 27 percent alcohol. When there’s a high presence of alcohol in your mouth due to mouth wash product, the result can be quite unreliable. The problem can be made worse if you had a few sips recently and want to remove the alcohol odor with a breath spray.