3 reasons to question the accuracy of a chemical breath test

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

The popularity of crime television shows that focus on police procedures and criminal court has given people a false sense of certainty about what happens in the criminal justice system. The stories depicted on popular television shows and in movies are often wildly dramatized. Even those that may have some basis in the real world often include the same tropes used in most police procedural entertainment.

From dramatic third-act evidence to loud disruptions in court, there are many occurrences in crime entertainment that don’t typically happen in the real world. Another bit of misinformation spread by such entertainment is the idea that physical or chemical evidence is infallible. A surprising number of people don’t fight against impaired driving charges because they think they can’t contradict a breath test even though they know there is no way they could have been drunk at the time of the traffic stop.

Thankfully, it is sometimes possible for those accused of impaired driving and who seemingly failed the breath test to challenge the breath test and avoid conviction. When could you convince the courts to question the accuracy of your breath test results?

  1. When you have health issues

Maybe your doctor recently told you that you are pre-diabetic or have blood sugar issues but you have not yet started taking medicine to control those health concerns. Perhaps you have started following a keto diet in an attempt to lose body fat.

Maybe you have a rare medical condition, like auto-brewery syndrome, that makes it look like you have had something to drink when you actually have not. There are many medical reasons why someone would fail a breath test despite not drinking too much alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

  1. When you consumed something before the traffic stop

There are several kinds of food and medicine other than alcoholic beverages that could result in a false positive when you perform a chemical breath test. For example, maybe you recently used an asthma inhaler or gargled with mouthwash just before leaving your house, and the traffic stop occurred two blocks from your driveway.

You may have ingested or made use of a product that will artificially increase the alcohol on your breath despite you not actually having any alcohol in your bloodstream.

  1. When there are concerns about the testing unit

For a chemical breath test to have reliable results that hold up in court, the officer using the device needs to administer the trust properly and the testing unit requires regular maintenance and calibration. If the police department failed to take proper care of the device used for your breath test, you may be able to raise questions about the accuracy of the results and prevent a failed test from leading to a drunk driving conviction.

Thinking about different drunk driving defense strategies can help those frightened about upcoming charges pursue the best solution in their case.