When police officers suspect you of drunk driving, they usually ask you to stop your car and take the breathalyzer test. This test confirms whether the person’s body contains alcohol or not. However, these devices are unreliable, and the results are not always accurate. Factors like a poor device, health conditions, and your diet can result in a false positive.
It is natural for a person to panic when the breath test shows alcohol content in their body. However, it is important to understand that this test alone is not enough to get legal consequences. If you believe the machine showed wrong results, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney could help you gather evidence of your innocence.
Ways breath test machines can be wrong
- The breathalyzer is poorly maintained.
All devices need to be properly maintained and regularly checked to function properly. This is particularly important for breathalyzer machines because they are involved in legal matters. A technician is often needed to check the settings because of their complexity. If the settings are inaccurate, the device can produce the wrong results.
To prove that a breathalyzer had shown wrong results, you must prove that the device had been used 150 times or had gone 15 days without calibration.
- Incorrect chemical solutions.
Breathalyzers use chemicals in the devices to detect alcohol. The device must have the right ingredients in the right amounts to work properly. It should also be free from any kind of contaminated particles. Police departments in New Jersey using old and expired solutions in their devices can make the device not work properly. This results in inaccurate results.
- Something you ate.
Sometimes some non-alcoholic food items that people eat casually can also show alcohol content in your body. When certain foods get stuck in your teeth, they produce a substance called mouth alcohol. The level of the alcohol is low, but a breath test can identify them. Mouth alcohol does not pose a danger while driving and has no effect on the person’s ability to drive. A low-carb diet can also cause false results.
- Medical conditions.
Certain medical conditions and medications can throw off the test results of a breathalyzer. Some diseases or medical conditions can increase the BAC levels in your body and produce false results because of acid present in the stomach or esophagus. They include:
- Acid reflux
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease
- Continual or temporary heartburn
Being pulled over by the police and being asked to take the breath test is not something anyone wants. Even if you have not drank anything, the possibility of a false result can be scary. If you are involved in a similar case, be sure to hire an attorney as soon as possible.