Breath testing devices – Breathalyzer is actually a specific brand name – measure a person’s blood alcohol content through chemical reactions created with the alcohol on a person’s breath. Unfortunately, the test is not foolproof, and medication might affect the results.
Breath tests might be affected by certain medications a person or other substances people normally use or consume. In some cases, the presence of certain medications might lead to false BAC results showing a higher BAC than what is real. Medications or substances containing alcohol tend to lead to false BAC readings, and drivers can be unjustly charged with a DUI. While medications in small amounts might have a minimal effect, people who took larger doses or very recently took their medication might be more greatly impacted. Our attorneys can help you challenge the accuracy of the results and hopefully have your DUI charges dropped or dismissed.
If you were recently made to submit to a breath test and believe the BAC results were inflated because of your medication, our Salt Lake City DUI defense attorneys can help you clear your name. For a free case review, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.
Medications That Might Affect a Breathalyzer in Utah
Numerous medications and ordinary household substances might cause a person’s BAC results to be artificially inflated after a breath test. Many medicines that affect BAC results are very common and often prescribed for typical medical conditions. Many other medications are available over the counter. If you believe your BAC results were affected by your medication, call our Ogden DUI defense attorneys for help now.
Asthma medication often leads to false BAC results. Most asthma medications are dispensed through an inhaler. Since breathalyzers test alcohol on the breath, asthma medication from inhalers can cause complications. Asthma medication often contains a significant percentage of alcohol, just not the kind of alcohol a person would consume at a bar or restaurant. The alcohol in asthma medication may artificially inflate your BAC, especially if you used the inhaler before being tested.
Common over-the-counter medicines used to treat minor ailments like cold and pain might also affect the results of a breath test. For example, common cold medication like Nyquil or even Vicks products contain a certain amount of alcohol. If you recently consumed cold medicine before being tested with a breathalyzer, your BAC results might be artificially inflated.
Similarly, oral gels that people use to treat toothaches or sores in the mouth contain a significant percentage of alcohol. People who applied gel to their mouth before being pulled over, such as someone on their way home from the dentist, might have trouble with a breath test.
Even ordinary hygiene products like mouthwash or breath freshening sprays contain enough alcohol to affect breath test results. Again, your test results are more likely to be affected the more recently you used these products.
Can Medication Affect a Breathalyzer in a Significant Way in Utah?
People are often surprised to learn that things as simple and common as cold medicine or asthma inhalers can lead to botched breath tests and false DUI charges. Their first question is often about how significantly medication can affect breath test results. The answer is not straightforward, as how badly your results are affected depends on what kind of medication you take and how recently you took it before being tested.
Generally, the more alcohol your medication contains, and the more recently you took it, the greater it will affect your BAC results after a breath test. If you recently submitted to a breath test and are now facing DUI charges, you should speak to your doctor about your medication and then call our Layton DUI defense attorneys. Your medicine might affect your breath test leading to a false positive.
What Happens if I Get a False Breathalyzer Reading Because of My Medications in Utah?
If you submitted to a breath test and you believe your results were affected by your medication, our Utah DUI defense lawyers can help you challenge the results. Your BAC results are likely a very important piece of evidence and a key component of the prosecutor’s case. If prosecutors can no longer trust BAC results, they might be persuaded to drop the charges.
Unfortunately, the police do not usually know when BAC results are high because of medication or other substances. All they know is that your breathalyzer results indicate you had a high BAC when you were stopped. There is a good chance that the police will arrest you if they have not done so before testing you, and prosecutors will charge you with a DUI. However, this does not mean you are automatically guilty of the offense. Our Park City DUI defense lawyers can help you fight the charges and prove your BAC results were defective.
Challenging Breathalyzer Results Because of Medications in Utah
We can use multiple strategies to challenge the results of your breath test and fight your DUI charges. First, we can file a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence of your BAC. In many cases, evidence is suppressed because it was obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights. However, there are many other reasons to suppress evidence, one of which is that the evidence is far too unreliable. Our Provo DUI defense attorney can argue that your BAC results cannot be trusted because you were taking medication that affects breath test results.
If the judge disagrees with us and allows your BAC results to be admitted as evidence, we can still challenge them in court. We can present evidence to the jury, or judge in a bench trial, that you were on medication at the time of your breath test and that medication is known to artificially inflate BAC results. The jury might be persuaded to reach a not guilty verdict.
Call Our Utah DUI Defense Attorneys About Your Breathalyzer Results Today
Breath tests are not infallible, and your results might have been affected by your medication or another common substance that contains alcohol. If you were charged with a DUI, call our Riverton DUI defense lawyers for help now. For a free case assessment, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.