Breath alcohol testing is very sensitive, and numerous factors aside from intoxication can cause your breath to register a false positive on a Breathalyzer device. When that happens—you know what that means? You are immediately arrested and charged with DUI, just like that. The result is a false DUI charge in Colorado that could have severe and lifelong consequences—such as loss of professional licenses, loss of driver’s license, loss of employment, and more.
Mouthwashes and breath sprays containing alcohol- and the majority of them do- can cause you to register an extremely high value. The products leave residual alcohol in your mouth and on your breath for up to twenty minutes. This is why it is imperative for Colorado law enforcement to use an accurate Breathalyzer instrument and utilize proper testing procedures to obtain accurate results.
Administration of a Breath Test
A field breathalyzer test, using a highly sensitive portable breath alcohol testing apparatus, is accepted practice in most states. Proper administration of a road-side breath test mandates that law enforcement observe the subject for 15 minutes prior to administering the breath test. While the subject is being observed, he or she must not eat, drink, smoke, or put anything else in their mouth. This observation period ensures that any residual alcohol in the mouth has had time to dissipate sufficiently as to allow for a proper breath test measure.
Other Ways to Register a False Positive on a Breath Test
However, a fifteen minute observation period may not ensure an accurate reading for every individual. Scientific research has shown that acetone exists in the breath of normal, average, healthy people at levels high enough to lead to an inaccurate reading on a breathalyzer test. There are many causes of acetone in the breath. Hypoglycemia is one such cause, and it is widely documented that diabetics can register false Breathalyzer readings of .06.
Additionally, hypoglycemia can trigger other symptoms similar to those of intoxication. Shaking, dizziness, clumsiness, disorientation, and lack of focus are all symptoms of hypoglycemia identified by the American Diabetes Association.
Dieting and fasting can also trigger high levels of acetone in the breath, leading to false readings of .06. Persons following a low carbohydrate diet in an attempt to achieve low carb ketosis (fat burning), create high levels of isopropyl alcohol which their bodies turn to acetone.
Paint removers, gasoline, tobacco smoke, blood or vomit in the subject’s mouth, some lip balms, even electrical interference from cell phones and police radios can cause erroneous BAC levels.
What to Do if You are Arrested for DUI
If you are arrested for DUI in Colorado, it is important that you act quickly to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges. There are ways to beat positive BAC tests and an experience Denver criminal defense lawyer can help you build a defense that is designed to expose the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. If the police officer failed to perform the Breathalyzer test properly or did not wait the mandatory observation time, then you may be able to have the DUI charges against you dismissed.
Unfortunately, the majority of Colorado drivers who are accused of DUI do not realize that they can fight these charges—and WIN. Without an experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer on your side, however, the chances of beating these serious charges are slim. A lawyer can examine all aspects of your arrest and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
In the interest of public safety, it is important to keep drunk drivers off the road. It is also imperative that innocent people are safeguarded from being wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, or if you are facing a suspended or revoked license, contact a Denver DUI defense attorney with the knowledge and expertise to win your case.
Denver criminal defense attorney Steven Louth has successfully represented accused individuals in Denver and throughout Colorado. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Denver, Boulder, or anywhere in Colorado, call Steven Louth Law Offices at 303-442-2297 today for a free case evaluation. No matter how serious the charges are against you, there are ways to fight them. Call today!