When can a Breathalyzer test be inaccurate?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2018 | Blood Alcohol Tests

When you are pulled over by law enforcement officials while driving and asked to perform a Breathalyzer test, it is probably in your best interests to oblige. This is because as a person with a drivers’ license, you are considered to have given implied consent in exchange for the privileges that come with driving. If you refuse a Breathalyzer test, it is likely that you will be assumed to be driving over the limit.

However, it is reasonable for you to have your concerns about the accuracy of Breathalyzer tests. This is because the tests are tools that are not always accurate. They are designed to be portable and usable as field tests, but this means that accuracy is compromised, and you may have a valid reason to challenge your Breathalyzer result if you were found to be over the limit. The following are some things that could affect the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test.

A visit to the dentist

When you visit a dentist, you will likely be exposed to certain chemicals, such as alcohol-based mouthwashes and disinfectant. If you drive immediately after your dental appointment and, as a result, you are asked to perform a Breathalyzer test, it may give a result that suggests you are over the legal limit, even if you have not consumed an alcoholic beverage recently. You could defend yourself against this DUI charge by providing evidence of your dental appointment taking place.

Certain health conditions

If you have a certain health condition such as hypoglycemia or diabetes, there may be an elevated amount of acetone in your breath. This can potentially lead to false readings. It is important to question your DUI result if you suffer from such conditions.


Undergoing fasting or dieting can also have the potential to cause elevated levels of acetone in the breath, and even those who do not drink alcohol can be subject to false readings due to the diet that they follow.

If you believe that you have received a false DUI reading in South Carolina, you should try to pinpoint the reason why and take action to defend yourself.

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