Just How Reliable are Breathalyzers?
Though the weight of a breathalyzer test can turn the tide of your DUI case, it is not a perfect test. There are instances of false positives that can jeopardize your future and land you in a bad situation regardless of your innocence. You need to know what kind of things can trigger a false positive so that you can keep your rights protected while you’re driving on the road.
What is a False Positive?
A false positive is a reading on a breath test that makes it look like you are intoxicated with alcohol when there is no alcohol in your system. There are several things that may lead to a false positive and all of them can lead to some serious consequences.
What Causes a False Positive in a Breathalyzer Test?
False positives can be caused by anything from physical conditions to equipment issues. Here’s a quick list of the problems that you might run into.
Acetone in the Breath – High levels of acetone on the breath can definitely trigger a false positive. Things that might raise the levels of acetone in your breath include diabetes, fasting for long periods of time, and low-carb diets. People with undiagnosed diabetes are particularly at risk, as they may be hypoglycemic, which can lead to symptoms like disorientation and dizziness, which can make them seem intoxicated.
Equipment Malfunction – Breathalyzer devices are quite delicate and when they are not calibrated perfectly, they can record false positives. Even a small difference of one or two points can land you in serious trouble and can lead to a DUI charge.
Oral Medications – Though it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of a mind-altering substance of any kind, there are oral medications that, when applied to the inside of the mouth, can trigger a false positive. Cold and flu symptoms can also mirror those of intoxication if your eyes are irritated and you seem sluggish.
What Can You Do to Defend Against False Positives?
At the end of the day, false positives are often surprising and it can be difficult to foresee their happening. Sometimes you just can’t plan for everything. However, if you tested positive for alcohol and you were not under its influence, you will need a lawyer to help you navigate your charges. On the bright side, since you are innocent, a lawyer will ensure your case’s success.
Have You Been Charged with a DUI on a False Positive?
The state of Maryland has been cracking down on DUI cases whenever they can, but that doesn’t mean that you should go to prison for a crime you didn’t commit. Call on the experience of Albers & Associates to help you navigate your charges. He will ensure that your side of the story is told with honesty, integrity, and expertise. Contact us today for more information and to learn more about how we can help you.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.