If an officer suspects you may be driving with a blood alcohol concentration over Virginia’s 0.08% limit, he or she may ask you to take a breath test. Refusing to take the test may subject you to a variety of consequences, including the possible suspension of your driving privileges.
Unfortunately, DUI breath tests are not always accurate. Here are three reasons you may want to question the validity of the breath test’s results.
1. You have certain medical conditions
A DUI breath test should measure the alcohol in your bloodstream instead of the alcohol in your stomach or esophagus. If you have acid reflux, GERD or simple heartburn, though, alcohol may move from your stomach into your throat. Breathing into a testing device while experiencing the symptoms of these medical conditions may lead to false-positive results.
2. You take certain medications
Just as your medical conditions may interfere with the accuracy of a DUI breath test, the medications you take may also be problematic. Because many medications, such as inhaled albuterol for asthma, have alcohol as an ingredient, taking prescription or over-the-counter medication may cause you to fail a breath test.
3. You ate certain foods
Your diet may also confuse a DUI breath test. If you consume some types of nuts, ripe fruits, power bars or protein shakes, the breath test may erroneously believe your BAC is above the legal limit. Consequently, if you are facing DUI charges after failing a breath test, you probably want to investigate whether your diet or something else may have affected the results of the test.