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Why would an OWI breath test be wrong?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2021 | OWI

If you are stopped by the police and have a breath test come back at .08% or greater, then you will face an OWI. If that result shocked you, you may want to look into how you can fight back against that Breathalyzer test.

Did you know that Breathalyzer tests can be inaccurate? There are all kinds of ways in which the tests can go wrong, so it is well within your rights to question the results and look for answers to why the test was as high as it was.

Challenging the results of Breathalyzer tests

There are many reasons to challenge the results of Breathalyzer tests, but one of the most common is because you live with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These two common medical issues lead to an increase in vapors and gases in the stomach, esophagus and breath due to undigested alcohol, which means that you may falsely be found to have a high blood alcohol concentration. Keep in mind that burping during a Breathalyzer test makes the test inaccurate, so if that happens, you should be tested again after an appropriate delay.

Another reason to challenge a Breathalyzer test is if you wear dentures. Dentures that are not tight in the mouth have the potential to trap alcohol, which could cause skewed results during breath testing. If you have dental issues that result in gaps or pockets in the gums, then you could have alcohol stored there as well. Even over-the-counter mouthwash containing alcohol could be problematic in this scenario.

Just from these issues, you can see that it is possible to trigger a high score on a Breathalyzer test regardless of whether you’re actually drunk or not. Since these tests have the potential to be inaccurate, it is a good idea to talk to your defense about medical conditions that may have impacted the test. If you burped, have dentures, used mouthwash or have GERD or other digestive issues, it makes sense to question the results of a Breathalyzer test and to fight to protect your rights following an OWI traffic stop.