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Breath testing machines pick up more than just alcohol

Maybe you reached for your cellphone and began weaving in your lane or missed a stop sign. First, you may count yourself lucky that you didn't end up in an accident. However, you did end up attracting the attention of a police officer.

After stopping, the officer decides to conduct roadside tests to determine impairment because of your driving behavior. You know that you didn't have anything to drink before getting behind the wheel, so you submit to a breath test in accordance with Arizona's implied consent laws. Instead of being cleared of DUI, your ordeal ends with you in the back of a police car under arrest.

What happened?

You know you didn't drink any alcohol, so why did the breath test indicate that you were legally drunk, or close to it? The presence of acetone on your breath can produce a false positive from a breath test. For instance, if you have diabetes, you could end up with a breath test result of .06. Other substances or conditions that can cause false positives include the following:

  • Large doses of aspirin
  • Heart conditions
  • Large doses of pseudo ephedrine
  • Kidney diseases
  • Large doses of sulfa medications
  • Liver diseases
  • Diet soda
  • Fright, anxiety or overexertion
  • Fasting or dieting
  • Low carb diets
  • Ketosis

This is just a sampling of the acetone-producing circumstances, medications and substances that can cause false positives in breath tests. Only a blood test will determine your actual blood alcohol concentration. Unfortunately, you may already have an arrest in the system before you get a chance to clear your name.

You may be able to clear your name

If something other than alcohol caused you to end up under arrest for DUI, you may want to seek help right away. Even though a blood test may clear you of driving under the influence, having an arrest on your record could still have adverse effects on your life. In this case, challenging the arrest, the breath test and any other alleged evidence of drunk driving may be in order.

Knowing how to accomplish this task may take more experience than you have. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this alone. Like many others before you, it may help you to seek out the advice and assistance of legal resources in the Scottsdale area.

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Ramos Law Firm | 14500 N. Northsight Blvd, Suite 229 | Scottsdale, AZ 85260 | Phone: (480) 247-8558 | Map & Directions