Thursday, April 11, 2024

Feature Article: Uncovering the Truth Behind False Positive Breathalyzer Tests

Getting pulled over for suspected DUI is a intimidating experience for most drivers. The anxiety and embarrassment of being asked to take a breathalyzer test, followed by seeing a false positive result that could lead to serious consequences, can be devastating. In this feature article, we'll explore the truth behind false positive breathalyzer tests, their potential consequences, and what you can do to contest them.

The Science Behind Breathalyzer Tests

A breathalyzer is a device used to measure a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by analyzing their breath. When a person consumes alcohol, it enters their bloodstream and is carried throughout their body, including their lungs. As a result, alcohol molecules are exhaled through the breath, and the concentration of alcohol in the breath can be measured by the breathalyzer.

However, there are several factors that can affect the accuracy of breathalyzer tests. For instance, the device may not be calibrated correctly, the person administering the test may not have followed proper procedures, or the person being tested may have a medical condition or have recently used mouthwash or breath freshener, which can cause false positive readings.

The Consequences of False Positive Breathalyzer Tests

A false positive breathalyzer test can have serious consequences, including a DUI charge, license suspension, hefty fines, and even jail time. A driver may also face higher insurance rates or restrictions on their driving privileges. Additionally, a DUI conviction can negatively impact a driver's employment and personal life, making it important to fully understand the accuracy and reliability of breathalyzer tests.

Contesting False Positive Breathalyzer Test Results

If you've received a false positive result from a breathalyzer test, it's essential to take action to protect your rights. First, it's important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. This may include obtaining a second opinion from a trusted medical professional, documenting any relevant medical conditions or medications you may be taking, or challenging the device's calibration or administration of the test. Additionally, it may be helpful to hire a knowledgeable DUI attorney who can help guide you through the process and provide legal representation.

One common method of contesting a false positive breathalyzer test result is to argue that the device was not calibrated correctly or that the officer administering the test did not follow proper procedures. Another strategy may be to challenge the test results by presenting evidence that demonstrates that the driver was not impaired at the time of the stop. This may include witness testimony, video footage, or other relevant evidence.

The Importance of Legal Representation

When facing a DUI charge based on a false positive breathalyzer test result, it's essential to seek legal representation. A skilled DUI attorney can help you understand the legal system and your rights, work to build a strong defense case, and represent you in court. They can also negotiate with prosecutors and judges on your behalf to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Protecting Yourself From False Positive Breathalyzer Tests

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the risk of a false positive breathalyzer test, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. First, avoid alcohol or any other substance that can impact your ability to drive before getting behind the wheel. Additionally, be cognizant of what you eat or drink before driving. For instance, some foods and drinks, such as energy drinks, can cause false positive readings. Lastly, if you are pulled over for suspected DUI, be respectful and cooperative with law enforcement, but avoid saying or doing anything that could potentially incriminate you.


A false positive breathalyzer test result can have serious consequences, but with the right knowledge and support, you can contest the results and protect your rights. Remember, if you've received a false positive breathalyzer test, it's important to remain calm and consult with a knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as possible. With the right legal representation and a strong defense, you can fight the charges and get back on track.

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