Blood alcohol content, or BAC, refers to the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, which often gets measured by a breathalyzer. The legal limit in Cedar Park, Texas and across the United States is commonly 0.08. A driver can get a DUI charge if their BAC reads more than that. However, there may be circumstances that cause a false positive.
False Breathalyzer Readings From Foods and Hygiene Products
A standard breathalyzer has an error rate of 15%, but it could reach 23% in some cases. Certain foods, hygiene products, and medications often cause a false reading. Hygiene products may contain alcohol, which include hand sanitizers, mouthwashes, colognes, perfumes, toothpastes, shaving liquids, and body sprays.
Some foods have high yeast content that converts to alcohol when baked. Alcohol can also be found in coq au vin, penne alla vodka, fermented drinks, certain hot sauces, protein bars, ripe fruits, and nonalcoholic beers and wines.
False Readings Caused by Medical Conditions and Medications
A medical condition causes a false reading in various ways. For example, the body has small amounts of acetone, but a condition, such as diabetes, can increase it. The acetone could increase more if they had used a hygiene product with alcohol. The gases from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD consist of methyl compounds, which may give a false result.
Medicines that could increase BAC levels include some ulcer medicine, and cold and allergy medicine. SOme medications may give positive results without changing BAC level, such as orla toothache gels, asthma medicine, and certain vitamins.
A driver charged with DUI could attempt to prove the results are false, if they feel an error has been made. A criminal law attorney may be able to help prove the reading is false.