Factors that may affect the results of the breath test

Proof of alcohol in breath test is one of the most recognized ways of measuring a driver’s intoxication. The test is carried out by an officer of police. Despite its widespread use, the judges have rejected the test results because of the distortions caused by various factors. Some of the things that skew the results of alcohol are chemical. Surprisingly, some are even natural, caused by the own body of a person.

Chemical distortions

Many partygoers do not realize that the drugs we ingest can cause a false reading of the breathalyzer. The cold medicines and cough medicines contain alcohol that may affect the results. The website of the National Substance Abuse Index states that the breathalyzer does not directly measure the alcohol. Instead, the test measures chemicals group of methyl alcohol. The website also states that there are over 200 compounds in this group. This includes the methyl alcohol in gases; chemical adhesives, paint and other that are absorbed into the skin and enter in the breathing. The mouthwash is also a factor. The article “New Test for DUI Defense” (February 2005) of the Journal of the American Bar Association says that environmental chemicals such as carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust can also skew the results of alcohol.

Biological Factors

In addition to chemical absorption, common conditions such as acid reflux, diabetes and even cancer can skew a breath test. The test is measuring the chemical side effects of these conditions and no alcohol. Joey Gilbert & Associates Ltd., a law firm that specializes in DUI cases, says the Atkins diet with its low carbohydrate plan food- can create a false reading of a breathalyzer.

Human error

An official should calibrate machine breath. This creates an opportunity for human error that lawyers have used to refuse breathalyzer readings. Some things, like the performance of the test after the person emits belching, or wait about 15 minutes before taking the test, can give an uneven result, according to the website of National Substance Abuse Index.


It may be wise to hire a lawyer to contest the results of a breathalyzer test. You can oppose a biased breathalyzer test by applying for an alcohol test on the most accurate blood. The police will have to take to the police station for a blood test, but it’s worth waiting a couple of hours to avoid a DUI conviction.