Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to significant penalties, including fines, imprisonment and license suspension. In Texas, you are legally intoxicated when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more, but you break the law as soon as alcohol or other drugs affect your mental or physical faculties. If you are a driver under 21, it’s illegal to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system.
The police need reasonable suspicion to stop you for a DWI. Thus, you may not be drunk but can make a traffic mistake, prompting the police to stop you and administer a test. And the breathalyzer test may give a false positive. Here is how this can happen:
Foods that contain alcohol
Certain foods contain alcohol, such as fermented drinks/fruits, cinnamon rolls, foods with yeast, protein bars, honeybuns and energy drinks, among others. If you recently ate these foods and a breathalyzer test is administered, you may have a false positive.
Medications and mouthwashes
Some medications contain minimal amounts of alcohol that a breathalyzer can detect. These include asthma, cold and over-the-counter medications. Mouthwashes also have a certain amount of alcohol that can make you fail a breathalyzer test.
Medical conditions, such as diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can increase your body’s alcohol levels, which can be detected by a breathalyzer.
Was the result higher than your consumption?
You may have taken a chemical test, but the readings can be extremely high. In such an instance, the machine may have an issue. Poor calibration is a common cause of this.
The result of your breathalyzer test determines the class of misdemeanor your case falls in, which translates to the potential penalties you may be subjected to.
If you believe your breathalyzer result was inaccurate, you may need to get legal guidance to protect your driving record and future.