Medications and Medical Conditions That Could Result in a False Positive Breathalyzer Test Result

If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia, you face harsh consequences, such as a jail sentence, large fines, driver’s license suspension, and a permanent criminal record. You may feel there is nothing you can do other than plead guilty if your breathalyzer test showed that your blood alcohol content (BAC) Pharmacist Holding Over-the-Counter Medicationwas 0.08 percent or higher.

However, you may be able to challenge the breathalyzer test results. One way to do this is to show that a medication you are taking or a medical condition you have could have affected the test results.

Medications and Medical Conditions That Can Affect a Breathalyzer Test

In Virginia, you impliedly consent to take a breathalyzer test or blood test if you are arrested for DUI and face harsh penalties if you refuse to take the test. However, a breathalyzer test result is not always accurate. Here are medications and medical conditions that could cause a false positive result:

  • Medicines for asthma. Medications used to treat asthma, such as Albuterol, salmeterol, and budesonide, can remain in the bloodstream for a long time and are known to cause false-positive breathalyzer results.
  • Over-the-counter medicines. Some cold medications that can be purchased over the counter contain alcohol. Nyquil and Vicks products are a few that have alcohol and can affect a breathalyzer test. Even consuming a lot of cough drops can skew the results of this test.
  • Oral pain relievers. Medications, such as Ora-gel, used to treat toothaches and mouth sores, contain alcohol-based medicines that can result in you failing a breathalyzer test.
  • Mouthwashes and oral sprays. Most mouthwashes and oral sprays contain a high alcohol concentration. Because they remain in the mouth long after use, they can raise your BAC reading.
  • Gastro disorders. If you suffer from acid reflux or another gastro disorder, the acid that builds up in your esophagus can trigger a false positive breathalyzer result.
  • Dental work. Did you have dental work done on the day you took a breathalyzer? Many of the medications used by a dentist are alcohol-based and may have caused you to test positive.
  • Ketone levels. You could have a high ketone level if you suffer from diabetes or are aggressively losing weight. This can result in a higher breathalyzer test result.

Contact a DUI Attorney in Norfolk Today

If you have been charged with DUI in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area, our experienced DUI lawyers can develop a strong defense strategy so that you obtain the best possible outcome in your criminal case. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how we can help you.


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