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Your acid reflux could result in a faulty OWI breath test

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2022 | OWI

Did you know that an accurate OWI Breathalyzer test relies on you breathing in and out normally? Burping, belching or other such actions could make the test inaccurate.

There are a couple of reasons why burping or belching could make your test in accurate. The first is that the flow of oxygen into the machine could be disrupted. Usually, a Breathalyzer will recognize if the flow of air isn’t consistent and throw up an error, but if it doesn’t, the test could still be faulty.

The second reason why belching or burping shouldn’t happen is because it’s more likely for your test to show an elevated level of alcohol in your breath if you do this. The alcohol that is causing gases to form in your stomach is released in your breath, but that alcohol isn’t necessarily representative of your actual blood alcohol concentration.

What’s the appropriate way to take a Breathalyzer test?

If you’re stopped by the police and are asked to take a Breathalyzer test, the appropriate way to do so is by blowing consistently into the machine. Usually, the machine will beep or signal you when you have blown for long enough.

If you burp or belch while blowing into the machinery, that test should be thrown out. You can be tested again, but there may be a period of time that needs to pass before you can do so. The machinery’s manufacturer will have provided that information, and the officer should be trained to know when a sample is or is not acceptable.

Remember, you should have your breath tested at least twice. If the second test doesn’t match the first or is not within a very close range, then the Breathalyzer itself may be inaccurate or your two samples may have been inaccurate because of reflux, burping or other issues.

If you’re still arrested for an OWI, remember that you should talk about these issues when you look for legal support. Burping or belching are serious disruptors of OWI tests, and they do need to be considered if you are arrested. Showing that the test was performed inaccurately could help you fight back.