DUI charges and false Breathalyzer readings
A group photo of the firm's attorneys.

DUI charges and false Breathalyzer readings

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2023 | Field Sobriety Tests |

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal, and it’s also reckless. Those convicted often face steep penalties, even including jail time. When police make a traffic stop and need to determine if a driver has been drinking, officers usually initially rely on a Breathalyzer test. However, these tests are not always accurate and can give false readings. Nevertheless, if a driver takes a Breathalyzer test and gets a false reading, a DUI charge will likely follow.

What can cause a false reading?

Acetone is one cause of false Breathalyzer readings. When the body breaks down food, acetone can be a byproduct. It has a fruity or sweet odor and commonly exists in the breath of anyone. Research has shown that people with hypoglycemia may have more acetone in their breath.

Also, diabetics often receive false breathalyzer readings. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 23 million people in the United States have diabetes, and around five million of them are not even aware that they have it. A person with diabetes can have high enough levels of acetone in their breath to give Breathalyzer readings of .06. Certain diets as well as fasting may also cause higher levels of acetone in a person’s breath.

Where to go for help

Breathalyzers and other field sobriety tests are not 100% accurate. Incorrect or inaccurate tests can lead to an innocent individual being charged with driving under the influence. Anyone in Maryland who has been accused of driving under the influence has the right to seek legal representation and defend against the charge. A criminal defense lawyer experienced with DUI cases can help guide individuals through this confusing experience while safeguarding their personal rights.