Unfortunately, inaccurate Breathalyzer readings could indicate a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than a driver actually has, and that may lead an officer to place a driver under arrest for drunk driving. There are some products such as mouthwash and certain medicines that contain alcohol that can cause this chemical test to register a BAC that is higher than what it really is or render a false positive for alcohol.While it may not technically lead to a false positive for alcohol because the device may actually detect alcohol, these may be important factors that can skew the test results and indicate an individual is impaired when he/she is not. A Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney may take these factors into consideration while helping clients build a defense against these charges.


What products might cause inaccurate Breathalyzer readings?

Some mouthwash and breath sprays can contain alcohol. Because the device cannot determine the source of the alcohol – whether it came from beer, liquor, mouthwash, etc. or from the lungs or the mouth and throat – the test may indicate impairment incorrectly. It doesn’t actually render a false positive for alcohol because it does detect it, but the source may be called into question by a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney in some cases.

Similarly, a breath test may detect alcohol from cough syrup and other medicines. Instead of detecting alcohol from the lungs, the test may detect alcohol present in the mouth and throat from these products. Again, this isn’t a false positive for alcohol, but the source of the alcohol isn’t detected, and a lawyer may question the results.

Some drivers have been wrongly accused of drinking and driving because of alcohol-containing products like mouthwash and cough syrup that can affect a breath test. (Of course, drinking mouthwash can cause an individual to become impaired.) Those wrongly accused of drinking and driving due to inaccurate Breathalyzer readings influenced by other sources than alcoholic beverages should contact a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney who can assess the situation and determine the next steps.

Addressing Inaccurate Breathalyzer Readings with a Ft. Lauderdale DUI Attorney

While cough medicine or breath fresheners alone may not cause BAC to rise above .08 according to a chemical breath test, it may add to the test’s readings. If you’ve been drinking previously, but your BAC is below legal limit, adding alcohol to the mouth or throat area might affect the readings.

Talk to your attorney about factors that might have affected your chemical test because these issues, along with other evidence that may indicate you were not intoxicated, may be presented in a defense against DUI charges. Testimony from others who were with you prior to the traffic stop, your behavior during the traffic stop and the circumstances of the arrest might also be used as evidence in your defense. Improper use or calibration of the actual Breathalyzer device also may be evaluated.

Robert David Malove is a Ft. Lauderdale DUI attorney who understands that there are many defenses when it comes to DUI arrests and chemical testing. Call (954) 861-0384 to set up a free consultation following a DUI arrest to discuss whether inaccurate Breathalyzer readings influenced by other sources of alcohol may be a factor in your case.