Can My Medical Condition Effect a Breathalyzer Test?

A driver may be asked to take a breathalyzer test if he or she is stopped for speeding or other traffic violation if the police officer suspects the driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If the test is positive, the driver will be arrested for DUI. However, certain medications or medical conditions can influence breathalyzer results.

Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent

When a person is issued a driver’s license in Pennsylvania, it is implied the driver consents to a breathalyzer test when asked to take one by a police officer. An officer can request a breathalyzer test if the officer suspects you have consumed enough alcohol to impair your driving. The results of a breathalyzer test can be used against you in a court of law. If the results are wrong, you may have a difficult time proving the error. Therefore, it is good to understand how medications and medical conditions can cause inaccurate results so that you can inform the police officer of your condition before the test is given.

The Impact of Medications

Several medications can cause the results of a breathalyzer test to be incorrect. Below are several examples of medications that can interfere with a breathalyzer test.

  • Asthma medications are inhaled and reside in the airways much longer than you might realize. Many asthma medications contain alcohol and can cause a false positive on the breathalyzer test. This includes Albuterol and Budesonide.
  • Over-the-counter medications may contain alcohol, such as Nyquil or cough syrups, even if they say alcohol-free.
  • Oral pain relievers, such as Ora-gel, are often alcohol based and will impact blood alcohol readings. Mouthwashes and breath sprays can also have the same results.

Besides medications, certain health conditions cause a higher blood alcohol reading. A person who suffers from gastro disorders, such as acid reflux, may also have a false-positive test. Because of a higher acid build-up, which ends up in the esophagus, the person may blow a higher result than the actual BAC level. If you have a higher ketone level, it will result in a higher blood alcohol content than normal. An error can occur if you have diabetes or if you are on an aggressive diet plan for weight loss.

Other Situations That Can Cause A False Result On A Breathalyzer Test

Cleaners and medications used by a dentist for certain dental procedures can have enough alcohol content to impact a blood alcohol test. A person who spends a long time in a room with paints or other alcohol-based products may register a higher result on the breathalyzer test. If you breathe in the fumes for a period, your breathalyzer results could be impacted.

As you can see, there are various reasons why your breathalyzer test may not be accurate. Each of these situations may not raise the level by much, but it could be enough to put you over the legal limit.

What Should I Do If I Believe The Breathalyzer Results Are Incorrect?

If you’ve had a breathalyzer test and you feel the results were not correct, you should contact an Edinboro DUI attorney. A DUI defense attorney will review your case and develop a strong defense on your behalf to help you overcome the charges against you. A DUI can negatively impact your life in many ways, including the loss of your driver’s license, fines, jail time, and higher insurance rates. It can also prevent you from getting the education and the job that you want. Get help to fight inaccurate charges against you that come about because of an incorrect breathalyzer test.

Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Edinboro DUI attorneys.  Don’t trust your DUI defense to a public defender or an attorney with little to no experience handling DUI cases.