Five Common Reasons for a False Positive Breathalyzer Test Result in Charlotte DWI Cases

dwi attorneyIf you are stopped for DWI in North Carolina, the police may administer a breathalyzer test to test your blood alcohol content (BAC). You may think that the police have an open and shut case against you if you fail the test.

However, this is not necessarily true. You may have strong defenses to challenge the breathalyzer test results. One way to do this is to show that the results were not accurate. Here are five reasons that your test result could have been a false positive.

Reason #1: The Test Was Administered Too Quickly

Your breathalyzer test results could show that your BAC was higher than it really was if your test was administered too soon after you consumed alcohol. The test may have picked up the residue of alcohol in your mouth and throat, which can skew the results. Police officers are supposed to wait at least 15 minutes before administering the test to avoid this problem, but often do not follow this rule.

Reason #2: The Breathalyzer Was Not Calibrated

Police officers must follow strict rules for the breathalyzer test results to be accurate. If they fail to calibrate the breathalyzer or do so incorrectly, this can result in a false-positive result.

Reason #3: Your BAC Was Rising

If the breathalyzer test was given when your BAC was rising, your test results could show a too-low BAC level. It takes two to three hours for alcohol to be absorbed in the bloodstream.

Reason #4: Your Medical Conditions Affected Your Test Results

Certain medical conditions can increase the acid in the mouth, stomach, or esophagus, which can cause a false-positive result even if you consumed no alcohol. Medical conditions that can cause a too high BAC result include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Gastronomical reflux disease
  • Heartburn

In addition, some medications could have caused your breathalyzer test results to be inaccurate

Reason #5: You Ate Foods That Affect Breathalyzer Tests

If you ate certain foods, this could have caused a false-positive test result. Pecans, energy drinks, protein bars, and ripe fruit are a few of the foods that can skew a breathalyzer test result.

Were you arrested for DWI in Charlotte? Our experienced DWI lawyers understand why breathalyzer tests may be incorrect and can challenge the test results and raise other strong defenses that may result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced. To learn more, fill out the online form on this page to schedule your free consultation.


C. Todd Browning
Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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