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What can cause false-positive Breathalyzer test results?

It is safe to say that few electronic or mechanical devices are 100% infallible. Unfortunately, we all rely on devices in the modern world. You may envision cell phones or tablets when you think about the word devices. However, a Breathalyzer is a device, too, and is subject to unreliability in some instances.

Did you know that the things you consume or become exposed to might cause you to test positive for intoxication during a Breathalyzer test? If the police in Des Moines, Iowa, arrest you for DUI after a Breathalyzer, challenging the test results may help you overcome your situation.

What items or products are known to return false-positive results?

A Breathalyzer cannot distinguish between types of alcohol present in the body. The role of a Breathalyzer test is to aid law enforcement officers in determining the sobriety (or drunkenness) of drivers. Since it cannot detect different forms of alcohol, exposure to the items below can lead to incorrect test results:

  • Mouthwash
  • Toothache medicine
  • Breath fresheners
  • Cough medicine
  • Mints and minty gum
  • Vomit or blood (in the mouth)

Further, if you spend a lot of time around certain household products, you may also test positive in a DUI traffic stop. Some of these products include:

  • Cleaning compounds
  • Lacquer and paint
  • Gasoline
  • Paint remover

Further, Breathalyzers require routine maintenance and calibration to remain accurate. In some cases, failure to maintain or calibrate these devices can also lead to a successful challenge.

A DUI conviction in Iowa typically results in harsh consequences, even if it is your first arrest. You can protect your freedom, your finances and your reputation by learning more about DUI laws under the guidance of an experienced advocate.