A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can have long-term consequences on your life, freedom, and reputation. Drivers in Dallas may encounter a situation where their medication or health conditions affect the outcome of a breath test. In actuality, various factors may contribute to a false positive on a breath test for a DUI. Below are the medical conditions that are commonly known to affect DUI test results.
DUI Breath Testing in Dallas Criminal Cases
Suppose law enforcement stops you under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests or to give a sample of your breath or blood to test your blood alcohol content (BAC), which you may refuse. However, if you refuse, your Texas license (or privilege to obtain a Texas license) will be suspended. The officers may also obtain a warrant to take your blood if you refuse to provide a breath or blood sample.
If police believe that they have probable cause to make the arrest, then you will be arrested and transported to jail. There, you will be given the opportunity to provide a sample of your breath or blood. The police are supposed to inform you of your right to refuse. If you do refuse or if your results show that you are above a 0.08% BAC, the officer may take your license and give you a “Notice of Suspension” or “Temporary Driving Permit.”
If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, then you will face a range of penalties beyond just the criminal punishment of probation and jail. Among the most severe are:
● A one-time $6,000 superfine
● Auto insurance rate hikes
● A potential suspension of your license
● The costs of having your license reinstated and obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License
● Interference with your employment
Drivers in Dallas need to understand that breath test results may be wrong. Various medical conditions necessitate medications known to adversely affect breath test results and lead to a false positive.
Medical Conditions and Medications That May Affect Your DUI Breath Test
If you suffer medical conditions that require you to take any of the following medications, your breath test results could be inaccurate.
Individuals who have asthma must inhale medication to relieve asthmatic symptoms. Because the medication is inhaled, it remains in the air passageways longer than medicines that are swallowed. Researchers demonstrate that the following medications may produce a false positive on a DUI breath test:
Gastro Disorders (GERD)
Those who suffer from GERD or acid reflux usually always produce higher BAC levels on a breath test than others who do not suffer from this disorder. This false positive occurs because acid buildup from the stomach stays in their esophagus of those who have this condition. When individuals take a deep breath required for a breathalyzer reading, this stomach acid shows higher BAC levels.
Individuals who have diabetes may have an inaccurately high reading on a breath test due to a natural acid that occurs in the body, called ketones. Those who follow a strict diet plan called the “keto diet” may also have this same effect. If a breath test is administered to anyone with a high concentration of ketones in their system, it will produce higher BAC results.
Over the Counter Medicines
A variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines have an alcohol base, including Nyquil or Vicks, that can impact a breathalyzer test with a higher BAC reading. Cough syrups have primarily been known to influence breath tests. If you’ve taken any of these medicines, even if labeled alcohol-free, be cautious and think twice before driving.
Oral Pain Medications and Mouthwashes
Similar to cough syrups, oral pain medications may negatively influence a breath test reading. Ora-gel, for example, is an oral pain reliever with an alcohol base that remains concentrated in the mouth. As a result, any breath test would read much higher than the actual BAC. Many types of mouthwash and breath sprays have the same effect.
Medications from Dental Work
Dental work requires antiseptic, cleaners, and other alcohol-based medications to kill germs in the mouth effectively. If you had dental work before you were pulled over for a suspected DUI, a breath test would generally register a higher reading.
There are various situations and conditions that may affect your DUI test results with an inaccurate reading. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI in Dallas, it is crucial that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. At the Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense, our DUI defense lawyers can review your case and advise on the best way to proceed for the most favorable outcome.
Seasoned Dallas DUI Defense Attorney on Your Side
If you’re facing DUI charges in Dallas or across Texas, your freedom and reputation depend on retaining the advocacy and support of a lawyer with experience defending against DUI charges. At the Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense, headed by senior defense lawyer Paul Saputo, we are warriors for our clients fighting biased prosecutions from the government. When you retain our firm, you are benefiting from experienced legal professionals committed to delivering excellent client satisfaction, shown in our various top reviews and awards, such as our “10.0” rating on Justia and a “10.0 – Top Attorney” rating with AVVO.